Marianne Vos' new women's team has signed a title sponsor to a five-year deal. Dutch company WM3 Energie has committed to supporting the team, established as Fortitude Pro Cycling, that will succeed Rabo-Liv next year. Competing as WM3 Pro Cycling, the new team will feature Anouska Koster, Kasia Niewiadoma and Valentina Scandolara as well as Vos.
The team was initially announced in September after the long-term sponsor Rabobank withdrew from the sport following this season. At the time of the announcement, Fortitude manager Eric van den Boom, who had previously run the Rabo Liv team, invited new sponsors to the project.
"Immediately afterwards several interested parties, who would like to be part of the Business Peloton, the backbone of the team, stepped up," the team claimed in its announcement on Friday. "WM3 Energie is one of them. The company, which is focused on the sustainability of SMEs, sees many similarities between its daily activities and cycling. Both are sustainable and green. The company, which is based in Bemmel, between Arnhem and Nijmegen, has signed a five-year contract and will become the team’s eponym."
WM3 Energie spokesman Peter van Tuijl said the company wants to become a leading party in cycling over the next few years.
"The idea of training riders and them being a source of inspiration for the growing group of recreational and sports cyclists, really appeals to us," van Tuijl said. "That is why we are happy to be a part of it, for many years to come."
Van den Boom was obviously happy to announce the new partnership as well.
"We have an eager and talented team, which will be on the hunt for success in 2017 and thereafter," he said. "Determination, courage and passion are the key words which describe our team. In short: fortitude, as we already announced previously."
Vos will lead the roster that also includes returning riders Niewiadoma, Kosta Yara Kastelijn, Jeanne Korevaar and Moniek Tenniglo. New recuits include Scandolara, Rotem Gafinovitz and Anna Plichta, both from BTC City Ljubljana, along with Lauren Kitchen (Hitec Products) and Riejanne Markus (Team Liv Plantur).