Some changes in the women’s cycling landscape. Today Colavita/Baci Women’s Cycling Team presented by Cooking Light announced a new partnership for the 2011 season with Italy’s UCI-registered, ASC Chirio Forno D’Asolo Professional Women’s Cycling Team.
The team will be renamed Colavita/Forno D’Asolo Pro Cycling team and maintain its UCI status in 2011.
The cooperation between the two teams has been on-going. For example, Kelly Benjamin is currently racing as a guest-rider with the team.
A win-win for both. Both title sponsors are Italian food producers that have long supported cycling: Italy-based olive oil company Colavita USA, and Treviso-based croissant factory Forno D’Asolo SpA.
“This is a great partnership between two Italian companies which both support cycling, first and foremost, for the love of the sport,” said Colavita USA Vice President of Marketing John A. Profaci. “When Franco Chirio wrote to me about his idea for merging programs, it also became clear that this was the opportunity I’ve been waiting for, namely, to get the Colavita team over to the European UCI circuit.”
Profaci, together with Forno D’Asolo President and Founder Fabio Gallina and Team Manager Franco Chirio are enthusiastic about the collaboration between the Colavita/Baci Women’s Cycling Team and ASC Chirio Forno D’Asolo Cycling Team, both on a sporting level and from a business perspective.
“On the sport side, this merge is good for Colavita and its riders because the history of cycling is in Europe and this will provide a good opportunity for the riders to compete over here,” Chirio said. “But the advantage for us is that the future of cycling is in the USA, where the sport is growing very fast. On a business side, Forno D’Asolo is well known in Europe and with the help of Colavita can expand distribution into the USA as well.”
US and Italy Roster. Chirio, working with Colavita/Baci Directeur Sportif Rachel Heal will create an international program and will field a roster in both the US and Italy. Heal will continue to direct the team in North America for NRC and UCI events while Chirio will direct in Europe.
“This merger between the Colavita/Baci and Chirio Forno D’Asolo teams is an exciting venture which will give our athletes the chance to compete in races across the world,” Heal said. “We are building a powerful squad that will be competitive in races both in the US and Europe and I am excited to be part of this new collaboration.”
The team reports that core riders from both teams will return including NRC Champion Cath Cheatley. A full roster announcement can be expected in the coming weeks.