Wilier Triestina announced this week their sponsorship of the Smart Stop presented by Mountain Khakis professional cycling team. The team will ride atop the Zero9 and Cento1 SR road bikes when they race the National Criterium Calendar in 2013.

"Partnering with Wilier Triestina, a company that embodies Italian passion for the sport of cycling, a commitment to advancing technology through racing at the highest levels, and more than 100 years of history and experience, gives us an immediate advantage in technology as the team gets access to the new Zero9 and Cento1 SR road bikes as well as the Blade and Twin Blad TT bikes," said Smart Stop founder Jamie Bennett of the partnership, "It will also give us a longer-term advantage in being able to learn from the experience of a brand with such rich and deep history in competition."

The Smart Stop presented by Mountain Khakis professional cycling team was founded back in 2007, with the idea of pairing up and coming young talent with more accomplished veteran mentors in an effort to further the development of US racers. They've been able to put a rider on the the top step of the USA Crits series overall podium every year since 2009 and in 2012 finished second in the National Criterium Calendar. The team has also expanded their program to include cyclocross racing this year.

"It was disappointing that the Exergy team dissolved late in 2012, as we had just come on as the bike sponsor. However, this ended up being a blessing in disguise, when the opportunity arose to work with the Smart Stop p/b Mountain Khakis team, as they are a consistently top-level US Program," explained Wilier USA President, Angelo Cilli, "There was no way we could pass up the chance to work with riders like two time Olympian Bobby Lea, Jackie Simes, the inimitable Adam Myerson and Canadian Crit Champion, Ben Chaddock. We expect 2013 to be a great season, and are proud to support these riders and their teammates."