Merida have been rumoured to be looking for a Pro team Road sponsorship for a while. Being a Merida rider I've watched this with interest. I heard Lampre weren't their first choice (would they be anyone's first choice right now??) but I guess it gets their brand into the peloton.
This marks a change in marketing direction. They've gone from being primarily an OEM for other brands to pushing more of their own bikes. They make a lot of frames for Specialized and had a deal to not compete in the US and Canadian markets. I wonder if that will still apply? Cycling IQ interviewed the Merida VP in March.
Merida own around 50% of Specialized and stay out of the US market for that reason.
I believe they sponsored the Fly V Australia team for a season (or two??), which was a UCI continental team....good to see they have finally made their way into the big league :)
Also sponsor SASI here in Adelaide.
Good on Merida for scoring a high profile team. Hope it works out well for them.
Cannondale are taking over Liquigas too.
So will they rename the team to Team Cannondale instead of Liquigas/Cannondale?
Cannondale Pro Cycling
Cheers Tim... because I was too lazy to source it!