Israel-Premier Tech has entered the Women's WorldTour with sponsorship of the Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad.
The Israel-Canadian men's team moves into women's cycling with prominent sponsorship of the Swiss squad, which is stepping up to the Women's WorldTour this year.
A press release on Thursday morning said that it "is hoped will become a long-term collaboration" between Israel-Premier Tech and Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad. Premier Tech joined the team formerly known as Israel Start-Up Nation ahead of this season.
Israel-Premier Tech's co-owner, Sylvan Adams, said that he was proud to play a role in the development of the new Women's WorldTour squad.
"After welcoming Premier Tech as our partner just one month ago, it was a mutual decision to broaden our presence in cycling to include a women’s team," Adams said.
"[It was] a natural next step for IPT, alongside our UCI Continental Team Israel Cycling Academy. We identified Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad as the perfect team to sponsor, particularly when it comes to our vision of developing Israeli and Canadian talent, and a team that would benefit immediately from our financial and structural support.
"It is for one year to start with, but we see this as potentially blossoming into a long-term partnership."
Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad, is registered in Switzerland but was previously a Russian team, Cogeas-Mettler. It will have a separate structure this year and will use different technical equipment from Israel-Premier Tech.
The women's squad uses Look bikes, while the men's WorldTour team is supplied by Factor. Among Israel-Premier Tech's star riders are Chris Froome and Michael Woods, while their Swiss partners have few big name cyclists.
Ruben Contreras, Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad's founder, said that it was an "exciting new chapter".
"We have always believed in a step-by-step approach," Contreras said. "Thanks to our new partnership with Roland, we were able to step up to the UCI Women’s WorldTour level in 2022 as Switzerland’s first Women’s WorldTour team.
"Now, with Israel – Premier Tech joining as our sponsor, we have an even brighter future ahead of us. I am very happy with this Swiss - Israeli - Canadian partnership which will be rich in shared cultural knowledge and see wonderful progress in the development of our young riders undertaken by passionate people like Sylvan, Jean [Bélanger, Premier-Tech's president] and myself."
In the press release, he said that he was looking forward to expanding his programmed to include Israeli and Canadian riders, and that the team's focus was beyond racing.
“We will have the opportunity to benefit from Israel – Premier Tech’s experience which is crucial for a team like ours with a strong focus on the development of young riders," he said. "We are looking forward to expanding this development program to include Israeli and Canadian riders, starting this season.
"However, our focus is not just on the road, but also on our riders’ participation in various social development and humanitarian projects. This includes the construction of houses for the less fortunate, the creation and sponsorship of a cycling school for children in both Siberia and Latin America, and student grants, all under the umbrella of our Rebecca foundation, which very much aligns with IPT’s Racing for Change initiative. The partnership is nothing short of a perfect fit."
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