Vacansoleil co-sponsor DCM will not renew its contract at the end of the season
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Monday, May 13, 2013

Vacansoleil co-sponsor DCM will not renew its contract at the end of the season

by Ben Atkins at 2:34 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Belgian fertiliser company happy with three years in the WorldTour

thomas de gendtBelgian organic fertiliser company DCM has decided not to extend its three-year co-sponsorship of the Vacansoleil team, which is will come to a close at the end of 2013. The company signed on with what was then an ambitious Professional Continental team in 2010, and hoped to rise to the top division within two years. The fact that Vacansoleil-DCM gained immediate access to the WorldTour meant that DCM was happy to increase its input, but this meant that the sponsorship term would necessarily be shorter than originally intended.

For the team the news is not unexpected, as general manager Daan Luijkx explained.

“DCM never had the intention to be on WorldTour level for a really long period,” he said. “They were looking for an ambitious Pro Continental team which was able to go into the WorldTour after two years. After that their final goal was to be at the highest level for three years. In those three years they did some great things to activate the sponsorship and they gained brand awareness in several important countries for their business. In a way you can say we succeeded to fast.”

For “the company with the green fingers” the three-year association with Vacansoleil has been a successful one with several high profile victories, including that of Thomas De Gendt on the Stelvio in last year’s Giro d’Italia, which earned the Belgian a place on the final podium.

“The fact that we already in the first year got the chance to ride all the giant tours and classics was a thumbs up for the team management,” said DCM CEO Tom De Ceuster. “For this reason we renewed the contract in year one with a bigger investment. The downside of this was that our involvement could be shortened.

“With the barbed wire crash of Johnny Hoogerland and the horrific crash of the very talented Wout Poels we got to see the other side of the sport but mainly the extreme motivation and will of the sport,” he added.

While it may be quitting the WorldTour team, however, DCM is not walking away from cycling altogether, and has renewed its contract with the DCM Youth team, which has already provided a path for riders to the WorldTour team.

“We are proud that three riders from the DCM youth selections are now part of this team,” De Ceuster explained. “Thomas De Gendt, Barry Markus and Wesley Kreder were all three with us before they became professional.”

The loss of co-sponsor DCM may have been expected for the Dutch team, but Luijkx is still awaiting the decision from main sponsor Vacansoleil over the continuation of its five years with the team so far. The team rejected last week’s reports in the Dutch media that the decision had already been made to not renew, but the news is expected soon.

Whatever the decision of Vacansoleil, however, Koen Feyaerts, CFO and responsible for the cycling sponsorship within DCM, feels that the team has a big future.

“The steps the team made since it was founded in 2009 are impressive,” he said. “The first three years in the WorldTour were an amazing teaching class for them. I believe that at the moment the team organisation is ready for the next step forward. With a dedicated budget this team has it all to be among the best in the pro peloton.”

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