Lotto-Belisol receives boost of Telenet sponsorship
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lotto-Belisol receives boost of Telenet sponsorship

by VeloNation Press at 5:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Addition of new backer could help in push for WorldTour place

andre GreipelWhile it continues its push for a WorldTour licence registration for 2013, the Lotto Belisol team has been strengthened financially with the news that the media and telecommunication provider Telenet is coming on board as a new sponsor.

Previously involved in cycling as part of its backing of the Telenet-Fidea cyclo-cross team, the Belgian company is now moving into road racing.

“With the sponsoring of the Lotto Belisol cycling team, we extend our commitment in cycling”, said Telenet marketing executive Inge Smidts. “Cycling remains extremely popular in Flanders. A few years ago Telenet has bonded itself to the cyclo-cross. With our entrance in the Lotto Belisol team we want to strengthen our brand name in the beginning of the year and during the summer months as well.”

It is not immediately clear if the backing for the cyclo-cross team will continue.

The Lotto-Belisol team was formed prior to the 2012 season, evolving from the previous Omega Pharma – Lotto setup. When those two title sponsors split, the management behind Lotto-Belisol took some of the elements of the previous team and signed up many new names. Amongst those who remained was Andre Greipel, who won three stages in this year’s Tour de France and underlined his status as one of the best sprinters in the sport.

Also staying put was Jurgen Van den Broeck, who finished fourth in the Tour de France, third in the Volta a Catalunya and fifth in the Critérium du Dauphiné.

The team’s general manager Bill Olivier last month got the reassurance of both Lotto and Belisol that they were fully committed to cycling. Rabobank walked away from its team in the wake of the USADA report into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service doping, but both Lotto and Belisol said that they were committed to clean cycling and would stay in the sport.

Now Olivier has received an additional boost, namely Telenet’s decision to get involved. “Of course we are very excited with the new agreement. As a Belgian team with Telenet we can welcome a very strong Belgian brand as partner,” he said. “Telenet has shown in the past that they find that communication through the sport in general and cycling in particular is very important to them, for example in cyclo-cross.

“After the cycling year 2012 that we absolutely can call successful, we feel that Lotto Belisol has called up something. That Telenet is joining us is a clear signal that companies keep believing in communication through cycling. The strict ethical politics of Lotto Belisol is also contributing to this. Our team with big names as Jurgen Van den Broeck, André Greipel, Jelle Vanendert and Jürgen Roelandts remains an excellent means to offer the necessary return.”

He said that the team had room for one more partnership, effectively inviting other companies to get in contact.

On November 2nd the UCI announced the names of the teams which had been granted an extension to their WorldTour licences. Lotto Belisol fell outside the top fifteen-ranked teams and so it is now one of five teams fighting for the three remaining places.

The signing of Telenet as a new partner gives the team greater financial stability and this aspect could influence the UCI Licensing Commission when it considers the licence allocation this month.



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