FDJ reported as being close to securing BigMat as €3 million secondary sponsor
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Friday, October 28, 2011

FDJ reported as being close to securing BigMat as €3 million secondary sponsor

by VeloNation Press at 7:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Increased budget would improve ProTeam licence chances

Arnaud DemareThe ongoing battle amongst teams to secure a ProTeam licence for 2012 has taken an interesting turn with the news that the FDJ team is close to completing negotiations with French company BigMat. Once completed, it would see BigMat come on board as a secondary sponsor, considerably boosting the financial aspect of FDJ’s candidature for the UCI’s top licence.

The French squad missed out on a ProTeam licence this year, having to rely instead on invitations from race organisers. It is currently ranked eighteenth in a hierarchy of teams based on sporting value. The five teams between sixteenth and twentieth – Ag2r La Mondiale, Geox-TMC, FDJ, Euskaltel-Euskadi and Europcar - are currently in a fight-off for three ProTeam licences, and so the other considerations of ethical, financial and administrative requirements will determine which three go forward. The remaining two must compete as Pro Continental teams.

According to L’Equipe, FDJ would put €9 million into the team while BigMat is thought likely to contribute €3 million on top of that. The combined total of €12 million puts the team in a more secure position that Geox-TMC currently is; its title sponsor said this month that it was walking away from the sport, despite what is understood to have been a multi year commitment.

Sporting manager Joxean Fernández Matxin told VeloNation yesterday that negotiations were going well and that he hoped the team’s future would be secured.

L’Equipe adds that BigMat – which it says had been linked to talks with Garmin-Cervélo - is the international branch of the company, while the French division would continue to back the third division BigMat Auber 93 squad. This would see the brand name aligned with two teams, with the bigger squad riding the Tour de France and the sport’s other top races.

Sandy CasarThe FDJ team is almost entirely French and includes riders such as Pierrick Fedrigo, Sandy Casar, Anthony Geslin and Jeremy Roy. Its victories this year included stages in the 2.HC Tour du Limousin and Tour de Wallonie events, the Coppa Bernocchi, Settimana Lombarda and stagiaire Arnaud Demare’s world under 23 championships road race success (pictured). He will be part of the squad next year and will be watched with interest by French supporters and the team’s fans worldwide.

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