Belkin signs two and a half year deal to sponsor Blanco Pro Cycling
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Saturday, June 01, 2013

Belkin signs two and a half year deal to sponsor Blanco Pro Cycling

by Ben Atkins at 4:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
New jersey to debut at the Tour de France

tom leezer,blanco,belkinThe Blanco Pro Cycling team has signed a two and a half year sponsorship contract with American electronics company Belkin, Dutch newspaper Telegraaf reports. The two parties have been in negotiations for some time, and have now agreed a deal that will secure the team’s future through to the end of 2015. The team’s new jerseys will reportedly be unveiled at the start of the Tour de France, on the island of Corsica on June 29th.

The Dutch team has existed, under several sponsors since it was created by former World champion Jan Raas in 1984, as Kwantum, after the break up of the superteam TI-Raleigh. It had been sponsored by Rabobank since 1996, but the Dutch bank pulled out at the end of last year under the continual revelations of past doping in the team, and in the sport in general.

Rabobank still wished to support World and Olympic champion Marianne Vos, however, and so continues to sponsor the women’s team.

Having previously committed to sponsoring the WorldTour team through 2016, Rabobank provided funding for the 2014 season even though it had withdrawn its name. Team manager Richard Plugge had set the deadline of the Tour de France to find a replacement for the Dutch bank, after which he would have been forced to allow his under-contract riders to seek other teams for next year.

Whether or not the team’s new American sponsor will mean that the historically very Dutch team will take on a more international flavour is not yet known. Currently almost two-thirds of the team’s 29-rider roster is from the Netherlands, as is virtually its entire management structure. The 2014 team is likely to look very similar, however, with 18 of the current roster under contract at least until the end of next year, including Dutch stars Theo Bos, Lars Boom, Wilco Keldermann, Steven Kruiswijk and Robert Gesink.

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