Rental company Europcar is the second automotive-related company to join the legion of professional cycling sponsors in the past week when it signed a three-year deal to take over from Bbox Bouygues Telecom as the title sponsor of the French rider-dominated team.
The squad has been part of the professional peloton since 2000. It was previously sponsored by and had the names of Bonjour and Brioches La Boulangère.
“It’s a huge relief,” said Thomas Voeckler, the squad’s captain, who was set to join another French squad, Cofidis, if the deal with Eurocar wasn’t finalized.
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“Honestly, I didn’t believe anymore that a solution would come along,” Voeckler told the website cyclingnews.com “I’m thankful to the people from Europcar who have organised everything in a period of three days.”
Mercedes-Benz recently announced it will supply a new pro team based in Luxembourg with vehicles beginning next season. Mercedes-Benz Luxembourg will supply all vehicles for the team that will feature brothers Andy and Frank Schleck. Andy Schleck finished second to Alberto Contador in this year’s Tour de France. The team’s title sponsor has not been announced.
“We look forward to be supporting the ambitious goal of winning the Tour de France for Luxembourg with this new team”, said Gerhard Roth, Administrateur Délégué of Mercedes-Benz Luxembourg S.A. “This partnership with the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project fits well with our brand philosophy of ‘The best or nothing’.”
According to reports, Mercedes-Benz will provide the new team with specially adapted cars, minibuses, trucks and and team tour buses.
Nissan joined the cycling sponsorship as the second sponsor of the American team sponsored by RadioShack and featuring seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong in 2010.
Jaguar and Skoda, the Czech manufacturer, are also major sponsors and automobile providers in professional cycling.
Jaguar is the official sponsor of the Sky Team based in England. Skoda is the official vehicle of the Tour de France. Fiat was also the official vehicle of the Tour de France for many years.