Belgian team of Tom Boonen looks for new bike sponsor after three years with USA company
Specialized bikes and ProTour team Quick Step announced today that the two will split ways for the 2010 season. The USA bike company will supply the bikes of two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador next season and is expected to also supply bikes for his team, Astana.
Quick Step rode Specialized bikes to many important victories since the two began their relationship at the start of the 2007 season.
Belgian Tom Boonen won the Paris-Roubaix twice and two stages and the green sprinters' jersey at the 2007 Tour de France. Italian Paolo Bettini won the 2007 World Championships.
"Specialized has been a big part of those results by developing bikes and equipment that give the riders a real edge. I want to thank Mike [Sinyard] and the specialized team for their support," said Team Manager Patrick Lefevere.
Specialized President Sinyard thanked the team for raising awareness of his company's brand and helping to develop his bikes. "We are grateful to the team and the riders for these contributions," said Sinyard.
The contract agreement between Specialzed and Professional Continental team ISD also comes to an end this year. The bike company will continue to supply Bjarne Riis' Saxo Bank team. Saxo Bank's Andy Schleck won the Liège-Bastogne-Liège and finished second at the Tour de France behind Contador this season.
Contador announced Monday that he signed a personal agreement with Specialized bikes for next season. Quick Step may use bikes of cycling legend Eddy Merckx, according to Belgian media. It will make an announcement this afternoon.
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