Satellite navigation company Garmin has upped its involvement with American squad Slipstream Sports, signing as the Professional Continental squad's new joint title sponsor. The announcement, just days after American ProTour team High Road Sports signed Columbia as its title sponsor, will see Jonathan Vaughters' team ride in Garmin colours at next month's Tour de France.
"Slipstream cyclists are setting the standard for success through integrity and sportsmanship," said Jon Cassat, Garmin's vice president of communications. "This fresh perspective on work ethic and accountability is in keeping with Garmin's worldwide reputation for accomplishing great things through teamwork."
The squad will contest the upcoming French Grand Tour as Team Garmin-Chipotle Presented by H30. The team's new logos and visuals will be unveiled just six days before the squad makes its Tour de France debut, at a ceremony in Brest, France on July 3.
"We are thrilled to partner with Garmin and believe that establishing this title sponsorship is further evidence that a new era of cycling is upon us," said Vaughters. "Garmin's commitment to innovation and integrity mirrors our own."
Garmin's announcement is a positive boost for the sport, with many major sponsors exiting cycling in recent years as the sport travels through a rough patch with doping scandals. In a press release announcing the new sponsorship deal, Garmin said it is dedicated to Vaughters' vision of a new generation of ethical competition and supports his "ride clean or go home" approach.
Vaughters has been a strong opponent of doping within the sport in recent years. The former cyclist brought David Millar into the squad's fold this season, with the Scott also becoming a strong anti-doping voice within the sport since himself admitting to using EPO and serving a two year ban from cycling.
Garmin's first major association with Slipstream came in January, when it announced it would provide the team's professional riders with its Edge 705 computer to use throughout the season. The Edge 705 includes power compatibility, wireless unit-to-unit connectivity and the ability to monitor GPS position, heart rate, speed, cadence, altitude and gradient on the same display.
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