The management of the Giant-Alpecin team confirmed today on the Tour de France rest day that the team has signed European online holiday tour operator Sunweb as its title sponsor starting in 2017. The news comes one day after Tom Dumoulin gave the team its first stage win of this year's Tour de France, taking a stormy stage to Andorra Arcalis.
Dumoulin was pleased with the news. "This is huge news for everyone in the team. It is fantastic to see that this partnership offers us the stability needed to continue the great strides we have made over recent years," he said. "It is fantastic that such a recognized organisation as Sunweb sees the financial potential of our sport in general and supports our team's specific goals and overall vision."
Sunweb inked a three-year deal with the team. The company previously sponsored a professional cyclo-cross team with Napoleon Games until this season, when Marlux took their place.
Sunweb operates in the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, The United Kingdom, Germany and France, and is seeking to expand its reach across Europe. According to the team announcement, the company's goal "will be to create meaningful content in a digital world and drive conversation with the 'tech savvy' European fan base, who follow the sport of cycling very closely."
"Sunweb has a lot in common with this team. We both aim for the best performance, we work in an international team and believe in the power of innovation to reach new frontiers, Sunweb's CCO Tim Van den Bergh said. “Cycling is one of the most popular leisure activities that goes hand in hand with traveling. On top of that, it also relies on technology to make it personal and to create a unique experience. Take the example of the app Strava: in which sport can one compete 1 on 1 with a real pro or with his own idol?"
The company promises to be more than a typical sponsor, and to "become part of a common dream", not just to build a successful racing team but to build a lasting development program to foster the next generation of talent.
"Today's promise at 2000 meter altitude is that in the year starting at exactly 2000 days from now, from the 1st of January 2022, the next generation of German and international stars will start creating memories in the UCI WorldTour," the press release read, explaining the '2000 Tage zur Spitze' (2000 days to the top) project.
"We are extremely proud of what we've achieved as a team. Cycling can be economically challenging. We are therefore extremely pleased to have a partner which focuses on our long-term progression and achievements, rather than each individual win," team CEO Iwan Spekenbrink said.
"We're extremely excited to announce a partnership, which is a major milestone for the team and I believe is one of the best partnerships in the history of cycling. Not only in terms of financial commitment but also in moving to realise our shared ambitions.
"The athletes and the staff are very excited because Sunweb shares their 'Keep Challenging' approach. This 'elite sports approach' is built on cooperation and innovation as the key growth drivers within a framework of non-negotiable values. And last but not least, our people are convinced about Sunweb's true commitment to their future and the future of the next generation of German and international talents and staff."
The team's partnership with Alpecin was still in the works last week when news of the impending sponsor announcement was announced, although L'Equipe wrote last week that Alpecin would leave the team and join up as a secondary sponsor at Katusha.
John Degenkolb announced he would be leaving the team, and is rumoured to be heading to Trek-Segafredo. Giant-Alpecin signed up the U23 Australian champion Chris Hamilton.
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