Swiss company Franke, best known for its kitchen systems, has decided to pull out of a sponsorship deal with Belgian cycling team Quickstep. At the end of 2006, an agreement was made with Team Manager Patrick Lefevere that the company would become main sponsor for a four-year period, beginning in 2008 with the option for an extra two years.
The decision to withdraw from the agreement comes after two rounds of voting in the company. Franke believes that there exists a negative image of cycling and it decided to withdraw from the agreement.
Bernard Vercaemst, the man behind the initial idea for Franke to sponsor a cycling team, spoke out about the decision and the future of the sport. "A generation of riders is coming that can give cycling a new zest, also in regard to the professionalism of the sport. There are still many possibilities," said Vercaemst.