Garmin extends backing of Slipstream until end of 2013
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Garmin extends backing of Slipstream until end of 2013

by Conal Andrews at 8:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Garmin Slipstream has received a major boost with the news today that its title sponsor has committed to three additional years backing the ProTour squad. Combined with the existing deal which encompasses next season, the renewal means that the team will be backed until the end of 2013.

“When Garmin first decided to partner with us, we said we believed that a new era of cycling was upon us. Today, with this significant extension, we can now say – the era is here,” said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports, LLC, the sports management company that runs the team.

“Garmin’s commitment to innovation and integrity mirrors our own, and knowing that we have their partnership for the next four years means that we can continue to develop the next generation of cycling champions. We can continue to make technological innovations that will give our riders a competitive advantage on the road. And off the road, we can continue to help better the sport.”

The team is one of the strongest in pro cycling and had a glut of late-season success which resulted in a 2010 total of 29 victories. It includes Tour de France top ten finishers Bradley Wiggins and Christian Vande Velde, multiple US TT champion Dave Zabriskie, Grand Tour stage winners Tyler Farrar, Ryder Hesjedal and David Millar plus up-and-coming talents such as Daniel Martin and, from 2010, Jack Bobridge.

The team was set up with the goal of competing ethically and has grown year by year. Vande Velde had a bad crash in the Giro d’Italia and while this foiled his plan of improving on his 2008 Tour de France performance, Wiggins stepped up to the mark and took fourth overall in the race. Farrar had a breakthrough season with eleven victories and has proved he’s one of the best sprinters in the sport.

The team’s emphasis on finding and nurturing young talent means that it is likely to keep progressing. This is something which appeals to satellite navigation leader Garmin.

“The success of the team spans the globe and surpassed our expectations for the first year and a half of our title sponsorship, bringing Garmin’s reputation for quality, commitment, performance and productivity into countless households in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia,” said Jon Cassat, Garmin’s vice president of communications. “Our objectives were – and continue to be – to integrate our products on sports’ biggest stages and to build global brand awareness.

“Whether capturing victories around the world, winning national championships or working to develop future generations of talent, Team Garmin has helped us achieve those objectives and has made an impression on billions of potential customers.”

Prior to its sponsorship, Garmin was chiefly known as providing navigation systems for motor vehicles. The backing of the Slipstream team has coincided with a significant ramping-up of its cycling products, including the Edge 705.

Dan Bartel, the vice president of world sales, said that the sponsorship has produced a big growth in this area. “Since signing with Slipstream prior to the 2008 Tour de France, Garmin has seen an outpouring of support from cyclists and sports fans across the globe, along the roads of major tours and in the stores of our retail partners.”

The team has been linked with Tour de France champion Alberto Contador but with the Spaniard likely to be locked into the remaining year of his contract with the Astana team, Garmin Slipsteam will focus on the Vande Velde/Wiggins pairing for the 2010 Tour. A return to form of Tom Danielson plus the continued progress of riders such as Dan Martin gives the team optimism that it can raise its game even further in the race.

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