U.S.-based Cannondale takes over as the title sponsor of Italy's perennially top-ranked team. In recent years, the squad has dominated America's top races including the USA Pro Challenge. Headlined by young superstar Peter Sagan, 23, and two-time Tour of Italy winner Ivan Basso for the past couple of seasons, the team has a strong balance of sprinters, one-day riders, and young all arounders. Nicknamed "The Terminator," the Slovakian Sagan won record eight stage wins at the Tour of California and went on to win three stages while capturing the sprint points jersey at the 2012 Tour de France. While Sagan is fast, teammate Elia Viviani may be faster. The team boasts arguably the fastest sprinters from six countries, yet, remain with rising stage racers like Moreno Moser and Damiano Caruso. Cannondale also fronts American strongman, Ted King, 3rd place overall at the 2011 U.S. Professional Championships.
Home: Gallarate, Italy
Italian Ivan Basso is a national sports hero in his home country of Italy. The 2006 and 2010 winner of the Tour of Italy, considered by many to be the second biggest race in the world, Basso will enter the 2012 USA Pro Challenge as its team leader. A notoriously strong climber, especially on steep grades, Basso remains one of the top all around riders on the world's Pro Tour. Basso has won an amazing eight stages of the Tour of Italy but also has one a stage of the Tour de France. He has finished twice on the podium of the Tour de France (3rd, 2003; 2nd, 2004). Basso has consistently won races throughout his career throughout Italy but actually notched his first big win outside his native country at the 1998 Under-23 World Championships. In 2011, Basso entered the USA Pro Challenge with hopes of a stage win, narrowly missing on the stage into Breckenridge with Andy Schleck one of his breakaway companions.
Hometown: Tasmania, Australia
Cameron Wurf is a former Olympian who represented Australia in rowing. He transitioned to professional cycling and was a member of the Liquigas-Cannondale squad in 2011. However a slow healing broken rib hampered his season.
Now with Champion Systems he has had top-10 placing in his nation time trial championships, Tour de Taiwan, Tour of the Gila, Tour of Japan, and the Tour of Qinghai Lake where he also finished in second place on the final general classification.