By Nigel Wynn
Specialized Bicycles will provide bikes and equipment to the Belgian Omega Pharma-Quick Step squad next season.
The newly-formed team will use Specialized S-Works road bikes, time trial bikes and helmets from the US-based manufacturer.
Omega Pharma-Quick Step has already signed up new time trial world champion Tony Martin, Levi Leipheimer, Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel, Briton Andrew Fenn and Irishman Matt Brammeier among others.
The squad will use Specialized Tarmac SL4, Venge and Roubaix SL3 road bikes, and Shiv TT time trial bikes. The team will also assist Specialized in the research and development of new products.
"During the three years that we worked with Patrick [Lefevre - Quick Step manager] and his team the first time around, we won more major races than any other team in professional cycling," said Specialized president and founder Mike Sinyard.
"We won the 2007 World Road Race Championships, back-to-back Roubaix/Flanders victories and a Green Jersey at the Tour de France."
"It's true, no other team matched our achievements when we were together the first time," Lefevere added.
"And Specialized was a major part of those results by developing bikes and equipment that gave the riders a real edge. This level of excellence and team approach to creating what the riders need is why we are partnering again, for even better results in the future.
This year, Specialized provided bikes to the HTC-Highroad, Astana and Saxo Bank-Sungard teams. HTC-Highroad will disband at the end of the year due to lack of sponsorship. Specialized sponsored the Quick Step team for three years between 2007-2009. This season Omega Pharma used Canyon bikes and Quick Step rode Merckx bikes.
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