The Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team (DSCPCT) announced a partnership with the China-based Marco Polo Cycling Team (MPCT). The partnership between the two teams is part of an ongoing recruitment and development initiative to seek new talent that will provide Team Discovery with reach beyond their traditional borders of the U.S. and Europe. Discoverys newly signed Chinese rider, Fuyu Li, comes to the Discovery squad from the Marco Polo Cycling Team.
The relationship allows for enhanced rider development and recruiting, provides a way for Discovery Channel to reinvest in the sport of cycling, and allows team sponsors to reach larger geographical areas. Discovery director Johan Bruyneel said, "This relationship will provide our Team with new opportunities to recruit riders that I think will be successful in the future."
The partnership will provide the Chinese Continental squad with financial support and an affiliation with a Pro Tour team. In 2007, the new squad will race on Trek Madone bikes under the name, the Discovery Channel Marco Polo Team.
In Marco Polo team, Asian riders will be mixed with more experienced western riders, to give them the experience of living and racing in a professionally structured team. Racers will compete in most of the UCI Asia Tour and undertake a three-month program in North Western Europe from a base in the Netherlands.