The Fortuneo team, newly home to Warren Barguil, have announced that they will be named Fortuneo-Samsic from 2018, confirming the arrival of the new sponsor on Friday as well as unveiling their new jersey.
The French Pro Continental team was known as Fortuneo-Vital Concept at the start of the 2017 season but changed to Fortuneo-Oscaro just ahead of the Tour de France.
After just six months, e-commerce company Oscaro steps aside, with Samsic, a business services and facility management company, coming in on a three-year deal.
The change was reported in the French press two months ago but was only officially confirmed by the team on Friday. They had applied to the UCI for a Pro Continental licence under the name Pro Cycling Breizh – a holding name relating to the team's home in France's Brittany region.
Being from Brittany as well, Samsic helps guard the identity of the team. The company had previously invested in football – sponsoring the Stade Rennais team since 2004 – but the arrival of Warren Barguil, winner of two stages and the polka-dot jersey at the 2017 Tour de France, persuaded them to head into cycling.
Fortuneo, a banking company, have themselves signed up for another three years, meaning the team name is set to stay the same until the end of the 2020 season.
"It's around shared values – ambition, team spirit, respect, effort, but also well-being – that our cycling team, the Fortuneo Samsic duo, and our jersey sponsors are aligned. We have an ambitious project: compete for victories at the highest level, all while maintaining the family environment which has been our strength," said the team's general manager Emmanuel Hubert.
"I'm very happy to work with Fortuneo and Samsic for three years. In signing up for that period, they bring us the stability we needed and offer us the chance to prepare for the future. I'm equally happy to have on our 2018 jersey Jean Floc'h and Look, and to welcome a new Breton sponsor, the Legendre group."
The 2018 jersey
Despite the change in name, there's little change to the design of the jersey compared to the 2017 version. Made by Nalini, the predominant colour is white, with black stripes on the lower section front and rear that nod to the Brittany flag, and green accents on the chest, back, and sleeves.
The Fortuneo name and logo appears much as it did in 2017, with the name and logo of Samsic replacing Oscaro just below - in black rather than blue. That layout is mirrored on the rear of the jersey. Fortuneo and Samsic each get one flank, while secondary sponsors such as Look, Jean Floc'h, and Legendre have space on the chest and shoulders.
"Proud of our Brittany origins, and with two Brittany-based title sponsors, we had a desire and a responsibility to show off the colours of the region on our jersey," read a statement from the team. "For that reason, we're retaining the stripes, already present on our 2017 jersey, and adding a discrete but symbolic Gwenn Ha Du (Brittany flag) on the back of the collar."
The main novelty is that the right sleeve of each rider's jersey will be personalised with a saying, figure, or symbol of their choice. This follows similar moves from Team Sky, who – as IAM Cycling had tried to do – will have rider names on the back of their jerseys in 2018, and LottoNL-Jumbo, whose riders will each have their individual Lotto ball number on the back.