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Vacansoleil-DCM Team in talks with new potential sponsors

By:
Cycling News
Published:
July 26, 2013, 19:23,
Updated:
July 26, 2013, 20:25
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, July 27, 2013
The Vacansoleil team with new Dutch champion Johnny Hoogerland

The Vacansoleil team with new Dutch champion Johnny Hoogerland

  • The Vacansoleil team with new Dutch champion Johnny Hoogerland
  • Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil)
  • Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) on his way to the Dutch TT title

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Time limited before its racers switch to other squads

The quest for a new sponsor for Vacansoleil-DCM continues. The Dutch World Tour team will lose Vacansoleil as their main sponsor after five years and also the second title sponsor DCM will leave the team after this season. The team is optimistic about procuring new sponsors.

"Three companies are currently considering our proposal," PR and sponsor manager Frank Kwanten told Cyclingnews today. "It's up to them now."

Vacansoleil, a camping firm, started sponsoring the Dutch team in 2009 when it operated on a Pro-Continental level. It was promoted to World Tour level in 2011. A return to the second division of cycling remains a possibility for 2014.

"It is possible to take a step back for one season and return to World Tour level in 2015," Kwanten said.

There has been speculation in the Dutch media about whether TVM would return to cycling. The Dutch insurance firm is now the main sponsor of a speedskating team but that commitment ends after the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. "They are investigating a return to the sport," Kwanten told Cyclingnews, "but as of today they are not one of the three parties I mentioned before."

TVM sponsored a pro cycling team from 1986 to 1999. "A sports marketing bureau currently investigates what our goals with sports sponsoring will be after 2014," TVM corporate marketing manager Jaap Stalenburg told Cyclingnews. "A return to cycling is a serious option and we already had informal talks with Vacansoleil-DCM manager Daan Luijckx, but our schedules don't match."

Vacansoleil-DCM needs a sponsor for 2014 while TVM wants to finish their commitment to speedskating throughout the Olympic 2014 season. "We are not betting on two horses," Stalenburg said." The results of the sports sponsoring enquiry are expected in autumn of this year. "It's not said we return to cycling and take over an existing team. There are several other options too."

For Vacansoleil-DCM, time becomes an issue. Manager Daan Luijckx set the finish of the Tour de France as a deadline but had no news to report on Sunday. "The parties that are interested know the urgency," Kwanten said. "But we'd rather take a well-reasoned decision than a rash one."

Kwanten didn't want to elaborate on the names of the interested parties. "They are international companies, some with an office in the Netherlands," he said.

Luijckx already told his riders that they should keep their eyes open for other teams. Dutch time trial champion Lieuwe Westra was already linked to Astana and Björn Leukemans to BMC. "I can't block their careers," general manager Luijckx told Sporza earlier this month.

The riders haven't been informed yet of the current state of affairs. "I haven't heard anything yet, no phone call, no email," sprinter Kenny van Hummel told Wielerflits on Wednesday. "I know Daan (Luijckx) is working hard to find a new sponsor, but these are not easy times."

For first year pro Willem Wauters, the prospect of stepping down to procontinental level might be disastrous for the team. "If you sign with a World Tour team and they relegate to another level, you are free to leave."

How long riders like Dutch champion Johnny Hoogerland, Wout Poels, Thomas de Gendt and young sprinters like Danny van Poppel and Barry Markus are willing to wait, remains to be seen.

dslacker More than 1 year ago
Can't help but remember all the potential sponsors Highroad had before it folded. They need to be quick about getting a new sponsor - the riders and staff must line up new teams very soon or be totally screwed for next season.
Jar West More than 1 year ago
Tinkov....
gustienordic More than 1 year ago
Oleg isn't going to go for that. Tinkov wants to create a heavily russian team, not a dutch team! Plus, if he was upset with Contador's performance, he is going to be extremely let down by Hoogerland, Poels, & de Gendt
Latvian More than 1 year ago
there are not enough russians for a full team anyway, so i think there is a possibility. not sure how hes going to win the tour though...
Paul Clarke More than 1 year ago
This would make a great opportunity for Raleigh to re-establish their links with Dutch cycling and get their bikes onto a world tour team.
Steven Nicholson More than 1 year ago
that would be good if it happened, Raleigh are owned by Accell who are a Dutch company so the chance to sponsor a Dutch world tour/pro cont team could be appealing. the current Raleigh continental team are having a pretty good season on the British domestic circuit so it'd be good if they could become a development squad for the main team.