The Argos- Shimano team has announced that Shimano has extended its sponsorship of the Netherlands-based team for a further two years.
Thanks to the success of sprinters John Degenkolb and Marcel Kittel, the men's team looks set to secure a UCI WorldTour licence for 2013 and so secure automatic invitations to the sports biggest races. The ten-rider women's team has been strengthened by the signing of Junior world champion Lucy Garner.
"Today is a great day for us. Because of the renewed partnership with Shimano we are able to continue our strategy we formed last year," team owner and manager Iwan Spekenbrink said in a press release.
"In 2012 it proved to be very successful and with Shimano as an innovative partner we know we race on the best products available for our team. Shimano played an important role in getting our team to the position where we are now. In these turbulent times Shimano shows that they are reliable and committed to our team and cycling.”
Shimano components are used by a number of teams in the professional peloton and the Japanese company uses its links with the Argos-Shimano team to develop its products. The team has also developed an Asian rider development programme to scout and train Asian riders. The Argos-Shimano team includes riders from China and Japan.
"For Shimano it was no question if we would continue our sponsorship agreement with Team Argos-Shimano. Not even in these tough times for cycling," Marc van Rooij -the president of Shimano Europe said.
"The team provides us a platform in the professional peloton where we can test our products, which is extremely valuable for us. With their feedback we are able to make world class rider tuned products. For the coming seasons we have the confidence Team Argos-Shimano will exceed its results from 2012. And with a possible WorldTour status we will be able to test our products better and on an even higher level.”
New signings for 2013 include Australia's Will Clarke and the USA's Tom Peterson from Garmin-Sharp.