Italian outfit looks to follow up Giro-Vuelta double with Giro and Tour de France this year

Team Leopard-Trek isn’t the only ProTeam squad that has presented a 2011 line-up of which much is expected in the coming season, with Liquigas-Cannondale yesterday introducing its team in Milan, with high hopes of winning two of cycling’s three Grand Tours for the second year in a row.

Unlike the Luxembourg outfit, it isn’t a new team of course, but in Ivan Basso, winner of last year’s Giro d’Italia, it has a rider who can certainly challenge for a podium place at the Tour de France, while 2010 Vuelta winner Vincenzo Nibali, one of the sport’s most exciting talents, is aiming to succeed his team mate in the maglia rosa.

There’s been a bit of a tweak in the colourway of the team kit, with white on the chest and back of what was previously a navy blue and lime green design – the latter two colours, coincidentally, also adopted by Movistar, the successor outfit to Caisse d’Epargne.

Cannondale, no doubt pretty happy with seeing its frames winning both the Giro and the Vuelta, has now stepped up to become headline sponsor alongside Liquigas.

General manager of the Connecticut-based bike manufacturer, Bob Burbank said, “Cannondale has significantly ramped up our investment in Liquigas this year and we’re very excited for the 2011 race season. When you combine Cannondale’s commitment to building the most technologically advanced bikes, with the Liquigas roster of world-class athletes you can’t help but come up with the perfect ride.

“We are coming off of our first team camp in Sardegna with the team looking strong. Cannondale has new developments in the works for the upcoming season. The feedback from riders only confirms that once again we’re on the right track to provide cycling products that will change the sport.”

In the coming season, the team will mostly use the SuperSix Hi-MOD, switching to the Synapse Hi-MOD for races such as Paris-Roubaix, and the Slice Hi-MOD for individual and team time trials. The full spec of the SuperSix Hi-MOD which will be the workhorse of the team is:

• SuperSix, Hi-MOD full carbon frame, BB30
• Cannondale SuperSix Hi-MOD full carbon fork, 1 1/8"-1.5" tapered steerer
• Cannondale Hollowgram SL BB30 crank, SRM Powermeter Version, 53/39 SRAM RED Chainrings
• Assorted Mavic Model Rims including, Cosmic, R-Sys, Ksyrium, Comete and iO
• Speedplay Zero pedals
• Cannondale Hollowgram SL BB30, ceramic bearings
• SRAM PC 1091R
• SRAM OG 1090 rear cogs
• SRAM RED front derailleur
• SRAM RED rear derailleur
• SRAM RED DoubleTap® shifters
• FSA handlebars and stem
• SuperSix headset
• SRAM RED brakes and brake levers
• FSA K-Force Carbon seatpost.

Roberto Amadio, general manager of team management company Liquigas Sport, commented: “Our relationship with Cannondale continues to exceed our expectations. This is a true partnership with mutually beneficial goals and expectations.

“Following our recent team camp, I can confidently say that we are not settling on our past victories and are expecting bigger things in 2011 for Liquigas-Cannondale .

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.