Belgian team and bike manufacturer sign three-year pact
Tom Boonen, Stijn Devolder and all of team Quick Step will be riding on Eddy Merckx bikes in 2010 and beyond. The Belgian ProTour team announced today that it has reached a three-year deal with Eddy Merckx Cycles Company.
“It's a matter of pride for us to have by our side such a prestigious brand and a cycling icon like Eddy,” said Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere. “We're sure that this relationship will be mutually beneficial, allowing both the team and the company to grow further and to reach some important common goals in the professional field.”
Quick Step had ridden on Specialized bikes the last three years, but the two announced earlier Friday that they would not work together in 2010. The American bike manufacturer will provide bikes for Alberto Contador and presumably for Team Astana, as well as for Team Saxo Bank.
Eddy Merckx Cycles sees the agreement as an important step in its growth in the international market. “The return of the bike in the ProTour is a logical next step,” said Pieter Vansynghel, the company's CEO. “The fact that a Belgian top team is riding Eddy Merckx bikes in the year of celebrations 2010 has a very special meaning to us.
Merckx turns 65 in 2010, and the Tour de France will pass through his hometown of Meise. “More lustre will be obviously added to the event by the participating of a Belgian top team on his bikes,” according to Vansynghel.
“Today we are ready again to ride at the front of the pack. In the past I have successfully worked together with Patrick Lefevere with the Domo Farm Frites Team. Therefore, I am very pleased that we are back in a partnership today”, said Merckx.
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