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As Liquigas exits cycling, company claims brand recognition worth ‘at least’ five times its investment-VeloNews

MILAN (VN) — Cannondale officially takes over the former Liquigas-Cannondale WorldTour team with a presentation in Los Angeles, California, next month, but sponsor Liquigas leaves the team happy — and rich. In eight seasons, president Paolo Del Lago said the company invested $65 million, “but the return was at least five times greater.”

Del Lago spoke to Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport at a party to celebrate the changing of the guard. In September, the American bike manufacturer announced it would take over the team “in a significant way.”

After two years as co-sponsor and enjoying its share of the return, Cannondale took a 40-percent stake in the team’s new management company. Former Liquigas president Paolo Zani started the management company, Brixia Sport, and takes the other 60 percent.

The team will become essentially half Italian and half Canadian-American. Canadian company Dorel bought Connecticut-based Cannondale in 2008.

“Their demand was that the team become as international as possible,” explained team manager Roberto Amadio last month.

The team signed eight new riders, including Canadian Guillaume Boivin, Australian Cameron Wurf, Austrian Matthias Krizek, Argentinian Lucas Sebastian Haedo, German Michel Koch, Japanese Nariyuki Masuda and Dane Brian Vandborg for the new season. They join forces with Italy’s old and new, Ivan Basso and Moreno Moser, Slovakian sprinter and rouleur Peter Sagan, and American Ted King.

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By: Gregor Brown / VeloNews
Published: December 7, 2012