Ridley announces eight year deal with new Lotto team
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Friday, September 2, 2011

Ridley announces eight year deal with new Lotto team

by Shane Stokes at 1:13 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tech News
Lazer and 4ZA also on board for same period

RidleyFew details have yet been confirmed about the lineup of the new Lotto team, but the same can’t be said about its equipment. Belgian bike manufacturer Ridley has confirmed that it will come on board for a staggering eight years, a very unusual long term commitment, as will equipment providers Lazer and 4ZA.

The team will make its debut next year on Ridley's new Noah FAST frame, which claims to feature ‘the world's only fully integrated brake system,’ as well as Lazer's helmets and magnetic glasses plus 4ZA Components.

The newly-structured squad is being formed after a split between the title sponsors on the current Omega Pharma – Lotto team. The former is heading across to what will be an Omega Pharma – Quick Step team, while the latter will concentrate on a Belgian-orientated setup with an international element. Two riders confirmed thus far are the current team pros Andre Greipel and Jurgen Van den Broeck.

Lotto has been a long term sponsor in the sport. It first backed a pro team in 1984 and has remained in place ever since, making it one of the longest current sponsorships in cycling. In 2005 it twitted with Davitamon, a vitamin range manufactured by Omega Pharma, and this partnership has existed since then. The team has been called Davitamon Lotto, Predictor Lotto, Silence Lotto and Omega Pharma Lotto over the past seven years.

During that time, Ridley Bikes have been used, although since 2009 Canyon has supplied frames to the team. Ridley are currently working with the Vacansoleil squad, having signed a three year deal last autumn.

The Omega Pharma - Lotto split will now see the latter sponsor and Ridley renew their partnership, and for it run between 2012 and 2019.

“We have a long history with everyone on the team including the director, mechanics and the riders,” said the bike company’s CEO Jochim Aerts. “Having Lotto so close by, and knowing the team so well, will bring many advantages to our product development by having an easy channel for direct feedback.

“It will also benefit our global distribution and co-sponsors through our cross-over marketing strategy which brings together all of the key team sponsors to present a worldwide marketing opportunity.”

Lazer Sport CEO Sean van Waes also emphasises the history of the association. “We are happy and proud to be a partner of one of the teams that helped to make Lazer famous,” he said. “Having worked with the likes of Robbie McEwen, Van Petegem and Andreii Tchmil in the late 90's we are looking forward to seeing a new generation of riders performing at the highest level with our helmets and sunglasses.”

More details of the team will emerge in the weeks ahead. It will need to ensure it has riders of a sufficiently high world ranking to reach the standard necessary for a ProTeam licence. Providing it does that, Ridley, Lazer and 4ZA will be in next year’s Tour de France and other key events.


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