The NetApp-Endura team further secured its future with a three-year co-title sponsorship from Canadian bicycle manufacturer Argon 18. Earlier this month, the German team announced a new company, appliance maker Bora, would take over the title sponsorship of the team.
It is the first time that Argon 18 has sponsored a team at this level. The Montreal-based company has backed several triathletes, the former Spidertech team, and Amore e Vita, but with Leopold König having taken seventh in the Tour de France for NetApp-Endura this year, it is now looking to raise the profile of its brand on the sport's biggest stage.
"We chose this team because we firmly believe it will confirm our standing as a leading and innovative bike brand on a worldwide scale," founder Gervais Rioux said.
"NetApp-Endura is a Pro Continental team that comprises some 20 riders and has an impressive international race calendar. With front-runners such as Leopold König, it has been making steady progress since its beginnings. Its seventh place in the general individual classification of this year's Tour de France is irrefutable proof of this. Now that the team will be riding Argon 18 bikes, we'll have the best possible allies to help us develop innovative new technologies and, consequently, better products for the team to use."
Rioux, a former Canadian road champion and Olympian, founded the company with his brother Martin, in 1998.
"It's a distinct boost for the Canadian company's international visibility, since Argon 18 will be mentioned every time the team's name will appear. For us, this was very important," Rioux said. "It's one of the many reasons why this team was the perfect fit for us. This partnership will also give our brand unprecedented international exposure, as well as provide our R&D division invaluable feedback and insight."