TVM returns to peloton as sponsor of Dutch amateur team

TVM will return to the peloton in 2011, co-sponsoring an amateur Dutch team. TVM previously sponsored a top-ranked pro team from 1988 until 1999.

The road-haulage insurance company, based in Hoogeven, Netherlands, will be a co-sponsor of the newly named Team De Rijke, formerly Cyclingteam Van Vliet-EBH Eishof. De Rijke Group, a Dutch firm specialising in logistics, transport and warehousing, will be the main sponsor of the small amateur team as of the coming year.

The team is managed by, among others, Maarten den Bakker, who established the contact with TVM. He rode for the TVM team from 1993 to 1997. The firm has agreed to act as a sponsor for two years. “It is a modest sponsorship, but it is indeed our comeback to cycling,” a TVM spokesman told De Telegraaf.

The former TVM team featured such riders as Phil Anderson, den Bakker, Jeroen Bleijlevens, Bo Hamburger, Peter van Petegem and Steven de Jongh. The team won Paris-Tours twice, Omloop Het Volk four times and took Tour of Flanders victory in 1999 with van Petegem. It also claimed two stages each at the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia, as well as four stages of the Vuelta a Espana.

The team was involved in a doping scandal a the 1998 Tour de France, when it was revealed during the race that French customs officials had seized doping products from a team car in March of that year. The team hotel was raided a few days later and manager Cees Priam was arrested. Only a few days later, the team's vehicles were all impounded, and all of the riders taken to hospital for dope testing. The team ultimately abandoned the Tour, as did a number of other teams. TVM withdrew its sponsorship of the squad at the end of the 1999 season.

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