Omega Pharma Quick Step loses a sponsor
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Omega Pharma Quick Step loses a sponsor

by Shane Stokes at 4:58 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Q8 bows out after one year with the team

Tom BoonenThe Omega Pharma Quick Step team may have recently signed top sprinter Mark Cavendish, making it likely that many success are in store next season, but one of its sponsors as decided to walk away.

Petrolium company Q8 has announced that it is stopping its backing of the Belgian team, ending a long association with the sport. However it downplayed any suggestion that the Lance Armstrong/US Postal Service scandal was a factor.

“Our decision has nothing to do with the recent doping messages,” it said, according to Sporza. “We have known seven beautiful years in cycling. Now we want to pursue other objectives with our sponsorship. This decision was taken in August. It has nothing to do with the recent doping messages.”

Prior to working with the team, it backed the Omega Pharma-Lotto squad and also sponsored a number of races, including Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Flèche Wallone, the Tour of Qatar and the Waalse Klassiekers.

It accompanied Omega Pharma across to the Quick Step team this year and its logo was prominently positioned on the back of the rider’s shorts.

Speaking prior to the season, Q8 sounded enthusiastic about the new backing. “Pro cycling has always been very exciting to us. This sport is filled with great efforts, teamwork, experience, emotions and unique races, stated its Northwestern Europe managing director Gerrit Ruitinga. “These are characteristics the Q8 brand strongly identifies with.

“We are therefore looking forward to the races of this strong and promising team and we are convinced that the Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team will achieve great results in the 2012 season.”

The squad had a superb early part to the year, with Tom Boonen in particular achieving victories in races such as Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. However its Tour de France was quieter than expected, with Boonen missing the race, Levi Leipheimer being below his top form and Tony Martin missing out on a possible prologue win due to a puncture and then suffering an injury that would eventually take him out of the race.

It was unable to clock up a stage win in the race, and Peter Velits was the best rider overall in 27th place. If the timing of Q8s decision is as stated, the August decision may well have been due in part to that disappointing Tour.


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