Roompot to end sponsorship of Dutch Pro Continental team
Holiday-park backer to stop with Roompot-Charles at end of season
The Dutch Pro Continental team Roompot-Charles will lose its main sponsor, Roompot Vakanties, at the end of the 2019 season, the team has reported.
Roompot Vakanties – a Dutch chain of holiday parks – has backed the Pro Conti outfit since 2015, which merged with the Veranda's Willems-Crelan team for this season to become Roompot-Charles. The team is home to a number of big names, including Classics star Lars Boom, Tour de France stage winner Pieter Weening – who also won a stage at this year's Tour of Luxembourg – and former Trek-Segafredo sprinter Boy van Poppel.
"It's a policy choice unrelated to performances, to results or to our partnership of the past years, which is deemed successful and satisfactory by both parties," a team statement released on Tuesday said.
"As a cycling team we can regret that choice, but above all we are grateful for the many years of support and confidence in our project. We knew from the start of the current season there would be a chance that the one-year contracts of sponsors and riders wouldn't all be extended. It's inherent to the business model of cycling and we must respect those choices."
The team added that it had begun the search for a new main sponsor to replace Roompot for next year, but that it also had to remain "realistic and transparent" towards its riders and staff members.
"We certainly don't want to prevent them from continuing their career elsewhere when given the opportunity. On the contrary, in the coming months they will get plenty of opportunities to prove their worth. In the remainder of season 2019, we'll do everything we can to complete our Roompot period in a positive manner and to live up to the reputation we have built in recent years," the statement read.
A further statement from the outgoing sponsor said that the objectives of Roompot Vakanties' sponsorship had all been achieved, with the exception of "riding a Grand Tour".
"The team thus contributed to the international brand recognition of Roompot. The Roompot management speak of an excellent cooperation with the team management during that entire sponsor period and the parties involved will certainly stay in contact. Roompot expressly wishes to thank all riders, team members and the entire cycling world and all its fans for five wonderful years," it read.
Following the news of this year's merger with Veranda's Willems-Crelan, the Roompot-Charles squad seemed set to have Belgian star Wout van Aert – who was with Veranda's Willems-Crelan – riding for them, but Van Aert had become upset at not having been kept abreast about the plans for the merger of his team with what was then Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij.
Despite having a contract with Sniper Cycling – the owners of the Veranda's Willem-Crelan team – for 2019, Van Aert unilaterally terminated the contract in September 2018, and, following a long legal dispute, was permitted to join Jumbo-Visma a year early, with the Belgian having originally signed to ride with the WorldTour outfit from 2020.
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