The Nippo Delko One Provence team has announced that the CEO of major sponsor the Delko Group, Philippe Lannes, has become the managing owner of the French UCI ProTeam squad.
The team grew out of French amateur team VC La Pomme, which was founded in 1974, and alumni include Mitchelton-Scott's Daryl Impey, Israel Start-Up Nation's Dan Martin and his cousin Nicolas Roche (Sunweb).
Today, the team boasts such names as the experienced Japanese rider Fumiyuki Beppu, who joined for 2020 from Trek-Segafredo, and Lithuanian Ramunas Navardauskas, who's now in his second year with the squad, having come in from Bahrain Merida.
Despite the 2020 cycling season currently being on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the team already has five victories under its belt this year, courtesy of two stage wins at La Tropicale Amissa Bongo from Eritrea's Biniam Ghirmay Hailu, Japanese rider Hideto Nakane's stage win at the Tour de Langkawi, and two stage victories at the Tour du Rwanda thanks to Spain’s José Manuel Díaz and Ethiopian rider Mulu Kinfe Hailemichael.
For the fifth year in a row, the team also received a wildcard berth for the now-postponed Paris-Roubaix, which was scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 12.
"I would like to continue the history of the team, from the [days of] Velo Club La Pomme, by remaining faithful to its open conditions that offer riders from Provence and emerging nations the possibility of facing the best in the world," said Lannes in a press release on Thursday.
"The Nippo Delko One Provence team has become an ambassador of Provence and cycling in Japan, Europe, Africa and around the world," he continued. "My ambition for Nippo Delko One Provence is [for it] to be a real employer brand, to be an essential team for race organisers and to succeed in the most prestigious world competitions, thanks to a cosmopolitan team."
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