American squad gets new sponsor starting from the Tour de France
By Procycling's Daniel Friebe and Cyclingnews staff
Bob Stapleton's Team High Road has signed a new sponsorship deal that will see the squad compete as 'Team Columbia' from July's Tour de France. High Road, whose men's squad is currently competing in the Tour of Switzerland, has been competing under the generic term of its management company's name since T-Mobile brokered a deal to end its title sponsorship agreement early at the end of 2007.
The California-based ProTour team has signed a three-year sponsorship agreement with Portland, Oregon-based sportswear brand Columbia, a global leader in outdoor apparel and footwear. According to a High Road and Columbia joint statement, the sponsorship contract, "includes both the men's and women's professional cycling teams, which are top-ranked worldwide and have won over 70 races combined in 2008 – the most wins of any competing team".
"In addition, at least 15 riders from Team Columbia are expected to represent their countries in the upcoming Olympics."
High Road chief Stapleton on Monday spoke of his delight at securing a sponsorship deal which will keep his team alive at least until the end of the 2010 season. The team formerly known as High Road – plus its women's equivalent, also owned by Stapleton – will thus be known as Team Columbia. Stapleton called the deal a "very exciting step forward, not just for the team, but also for the sport itself".
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