Deceuninck will remain in the professional peloton in 2022 after agreeing to become a co-sponsor of Mathieu van der Poel’s Alpecin-Fenix squad and the Plantur–Pura women’s team for the next four years. The Belgian window and door company had been title sponsor of Patrick Lefevere’s QuickStep team since 2019, with their deal expiring at the end of this year.
In a statement on Tuesday evening, Alpecin-Fenix announced that Deceuninck would serve as a co-sponsor of the men’s ProTeam and “will also sponsor the team’s mountainbike, cyclo-cross and women’s elite cycling’s team.”
Deceuninck-QuickStep have already secured their budget for the coming years and they confirmed in the summer that they will rebrand as QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl for 2022 after signing a new, six-year sponsorship agreement with QuickStep. It has been reported in the Belgian press - though not confirmed by either team - that Soudal will leave Lotto at the end of next season to become a sponsor of Lefevere’s outfit in 2023.
Deceuninck group CEO Francis Van Eeckhout said that the possibility of backing a women’s team had played a part in the decision to come on board with Alpecin-Fenix following the end of their three-year deal with QuickStep. Lefevere drew criticism earlier this year when he appeared to dismiss the idea of QuickStep forming a women’s team in an interview with the Het Laatste Nieuws Sportscast.
“I’m very delighted to communicate this partnership with Alpecin-Fenix. Supporting both young talent and enforce female cycling are two values which we both hold in very high esteem,” said Van Eeckhout. “Personally, I look forward to the spring classics and especially the Tour of Flanders. We believe that, in close collaboration with the Alpecin-Fenix team, our brand will stand out all season long.”
Alpecin-Fenix were the best ranked ProTeam for the second successive season and will thus earn automatic invitations to all WorldTour races in 2022. The squad won a total of 33 races last season, including stage wins in all three Grand Tours through Van der Poel, Jasper Philipsen and Tim Merlier. Van der Poel also won his fourth cyclo-cross world title and Strade Bianche, and he held the yellow jersey at the Tour de France for six days. The Dutchman is under contract with Philip and Christoph Roodhooft's team until the end of 2025.
The Plantur-Pura squad, formerly Mundial Ciclismo team, is comprised of many of the world's top cyclo-cross specialists who will race during the spring and summer months on the road, including former cyclo-cross World Champions Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Sanne Cant along with Annemarie Worst, who is currently third overall in the Superprestige series and fifth in the World Cup standings.
"We’re delighted to partner up with Deceuninck. We have known an explosive growth over the past few years but we’re far from being at the end of this journey,” said Philip Roodhooft.
“Getting Deceuninck on board, alongside our current partners, will give us the means to confirm our current level and, at the same time, further develop and materialize our future ambitions. As a Belgian multinational they understand our continuous pursuit of perfection and ambition. So, I’m sure that this sponsor match we will excel together."
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