Fortuneo-Samsic will have a new name in 2019 after insurance bank Arkéa stepped up as a primary sponsor. From next season, the Breton team will be known as Arkéa-Samsic.
The new name was confirmed on Tuesday morning but that was only after staff and riders posted the cryptic hashtag #WeAreArkéa en masse on their social media on Monday afternoon. Strictly speaking, it is not a new sponsor as Arkéa is the parent company of Fortuneo, which has been the title sponsor of the team since the 2016 season. Arkéa, which is also based in Brittany, will now step into the shoes of its subsidiary.
Despite plenty of fanfare around the arrival of home rider Warren Barguil for 2018, Fortuneo-Samsic had a difficult season, landing just two victories with Maxime Bouet taking their first in June at the Tour de Savoie Mont Blank, and Pierre-Luc Perichon winning Polynormande in August. Barguil struggled to find the form he had in 2017 and his highlights were second in the Tour de France mountains classification and third at the GP de Wallonie.
The 2019 line-up remains largely unchanged but will be boosted by the arrival of Andre Greipel. The French team were able to snap up the German sprinter after he was unable to agree a new contract with Lotto Soudal. The presence of Greipel should ensure the team has a larger win tally than they enjoyed this season. He is expected to make his debut with the team at the Tropicale Amissa Bongo.
Team manager Emmanuel Hubert said that the new deal with Arkéa showed the bank’s loyalty to the team but added that there is plenty of pressure on them to perform and highlighted their ambitions to join the WorldTour ranks.
"Personally, I am proud of this evolution, which testifies to the Arkéa group's loyalty and the interest that our team arouses," said Hubert.
“I know that Arkéa expects a lot from this partnership, our riders are aware of it and will work to be efficient. We have an ambitious project, we want to be part of the best teams in the world while maintaining a human face since our Breton territory is historically linked to the bicycle."
"We want to grow and unite around our WorldTour project. We will continue to help young Breton talents through the Bretagne Cyclisme Formation project. After the successful launch of the Keveler club which already unites many companies, a fan club will be launched in 2019.
"Nice challenges await Arkéa, Samsic and our team for 2019, we have the same desires for development, the same desire to make Brittany shine and to shine internationally."
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