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Belkin team manager Richard Plugge and team leader Bauke Mollema
National lottery said to step up as title sponsor
The Dutch national lottery will sponsor Team Belkin in 2015, the Telegraaf report Monday morning. The Lotto will invest in a unique joint project with the BrandLoyalty speedskating team of multiple Olympic champion Sven Kramer.
"We are now working on the last details," Team Belkin manager Richard Plugge said. "We were already working on this plan before we knew Belkin would end their sponsorship but it became more concrete in June. When the contracts have been signed, and it looks very promising, this is great news for the team and for Dutch cycling."
BrandLoyalty, a company that designs loyalty schemes for customers, will also become sponsor of the team. It already sponsors the speedskating team of multiple world and Olympic champions Sven Kramer and Stefan Groothuis.
"We are going to combine the cycling and speedskating team in terms of logistics but also in terms of sports aspects," BrandLoyalty founder Robert van der Wallen said. "You can see it as two teams but with one look and feel."
The majority of the budget of the team comes from Lotto, but Plugge reportedly also saved around €2,5 million of the Rabobank money that he received to pay for the contracts that were signed when the bank sponsored the team. He also has Bianchi who, according to Telegraaf, will raise their budget for next year.
The Dutch team still doesn't have a full budget for a WorldTour team but continuity seems guaranteed for 2015. The Dutch holiday company Roompot Vakanties is also still looking for a team in which to invest around one million euros.
National lotteries have a long history in procycling. Currently the World Tour teams Lotto-Belisol and FDJ.fr are funded by lottery money. They are among the longest running teams in cycling. In the past ONCE had the same financial backing structure.