Roompot Vakanties, a Dutch holiday company, has money ready to invest in cycling, Omroep Zeeland reports. "We have a certain amount to invest in cycling in 2015," the company’s CEO said. "Both Belkin and Orange Cycling know the amount and the ball is now in their court."
WorldTour team Belkin Pro Cycling is looking for a new sponsor after the American company used a clause in the contract to end the sponsorship after the 2014 season instead of the announced 2013-2015 deal.
Richard Plugge, CEO of Belkin, has set aside some money from the Rabobank years [the Dutch bank continues to pay a large share of the wage bill in 2014] and Bianchi have expressed their intentions to try and stay with the team. "We want to be a team that can compete in the mid regions of the WorldTour," he told NOS television last week. The amount that is rumoured around the team is 7 million Euro.
Orange Cycling is a new project by former procyclists Erik Breukink, Michael Boogerd, Jean-Paul van Poppel and businessman Michael Zijlaard. They want a Pro Continental team with only Dutch riders.
Both Belkin as Orange Cycling have set deadlines on the August 1. Belkin will allow its riders to look out for a new team after that date. For Orange Cycling the deadline is more flexible.
"We went to Roompot for another talk, which is a positive sign," Michael Zijlaard told Algemeen Dagblad on Saturday. "We are not looking for 7 to 8 million that Belkin wants.
"Maybe with a smaller team, the August deadline is less strict. Whether we succeed? I remain positive but we can only approach possible riders when we can really offer them something."
The Dutch holiday company wants to implement an expansion strategy and sees cycling fitting into that plan. "Roompot Vakanties' goal is to consolidate its leading position in the Netherlands and Germany and further expand activities in France, Germany and Belgium," the company website reads.
Vacansoleil-DCM, the Dutch WorldTour team that collapsed last season, had the same objective to use cycling as a means of promoting their camping businesses across Europe.