Team Blanco’s sponsorship worries seem to be at an end with reports that the American firm Belkin will start a two and a half year deal to back the team. The contract will commence at the start of this year’s Tour de France, which begins in Corsica on June 29.
News of the deal broke this morning in De Telegraaf although the team did not return calls immediately to Cyclingnews.
Reports of a possible deal between Belkin and Blanco surfaced mid-way through last month's Giro d'Italia with the team determined to stress that a final agreement had yet to be signed.
Last week Blanco boss Richard Plugge confirmed that negotiations between the two parties were ongoing and that a decision would be announced within ten days.
Blanco is the former Rabobank team. The bank announced last fall that it was ending its name sponsorship. This year's budget is still being paid by the bank, and 18 riders are guaranteed through 2014. The team's UCI WorldTour licence runs through 2014, but a new sponsor is necessary to guarantee the team's survival in the future. Its yearly budget is said to be 15 million Euro.
Founded in a garage in southern California in 1983, Belkin has grown to be a privately held company with more than 12,00 employees in 21 countries. It describes its products as ranging from “wireless home networking and entertainment, to mobile accessories, energy management, and an extensive range of cables.”
More to follow...