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EF Pro Cycling adds NIPPO as co-title sponsor

SUANCES SPAIN OCTOBER 30 Start Hugh Carthy of The United Kingdom Mitchell Docker of Australia Magnus Cort Nielsen of Denmark Logan Owen of The United States Julius Van Den Berg of The Netherlands Tejay Van Garderen of The United States and Michael Woods of Canada and Team EF Pro Cycling Mask Covid safety measures Team Presentation during the 75th Tour of Spain 2020 Stage 10 a 185km stage from Castro Urdiales to Suances lavuelta LaVuelta20 La Vuelta on October 30 2020 in Suances Spain Photo by David RamosGetty Images
EF Pro Cycling at the 2020 Vuelta a España (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The EF Pro Cycling organization announced today it has added NIPPO Corporation as a co-title sponsor, with the US-based WorldTeam racing in 2021 as EF Education-NIPPO.

The Japanese construction and asphalt company had three previous naming rights ventures with its support of professional cycling teams at the Continental level in Europe, the most recent being Nippo Delko One Provence. It also sponsored the NIPPO-Vini Fantini-Faizanè team which began in 2012 and raced three times at the Giro d’Italia. This is the first entrée for the business at the WorldTour level of professional cycling.

“Our team comes from far and wide, and the same is true for our partner family. There is a freedom and freshness on our roster and in our thinking between our partners since we all come from so many different places in the world. I’m very proud of that fact,” said team CEO Jonathan Vaughters in a team press release.

“With NIPPO CORPORATION joining us as a title sponsor next season, we will only add to our global approach to professional cycling and exploration.”

On Tuesday, EF Pro signed it third rider from the Nippo Delko One Provence squad, with Frenchman Julien El Fares joining the Japanese duo of Fumiyuki Beppu and Hideto Nakane on the 2021 roster. Both El Fares and Beppu have Grand Tour experience. EF Pro renewed the contract of its team leader Rigoberto Urán, who was eighth overall at the 2020 Tour de France, for two years in November.

It was noted in the team announcement that a portion of the NIPPO Corporation’s business handles construction of velodromes and other race tracks. While including 90 per cent of track cycling arenas in Japan have been built by NIPPO, they were not involved with the wooden indoor track in Izu which will host track cycling events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

“We hope that the Japanese athletes and technical staff, from mechanics, to soigneurs who join the team, will gain more experience and contribute to the development of Japanese cycling,” said Hiroshi Daimon, director of sport for NIPPO Corporation.

The Japanese company said it would continue to support a developmental Continental team, Nippo-Provence-PTS, after cutting ties with the Delko One Provence squad, which faced several complaints of unpaid wages during the 2020 season, with the UCI initiating bank guarantee proceedings. A Swiss-based Continental team, Nippo-Provence-PTS Conti is also co-sponsored by EF Education First and Cannondale, and recently confirmed it would have a 12-rider squad in 2021.

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