Van der Poel extends as Corendon team gets new name and Canyon bikes

The Beobank-Corendon team will be named Corendon-Circus in 2018 and will race on Canyon bikes. The two big changes were announced on Wednesday but there was one key constant in that star rider Mathieu van der Poel will continue to lead the line, having signed a contract extension that keeps him there until the end of 2020. 

Van der Poel has dominated this winter's cyclo-cross campaign, topping the World Cup standings with five victories so far. He started riding for Beobank-Corendon in 2014, having come through the team's development set-up, and already had a contract for next year but has just committed his long-term future to the team and to cyclo-cross. The prodigious Dutchman is thought to be planning a move to road racing after the XC mountain bike race at the 2020 Olympic Games. 

"I have been feeling well with this team for years. Signing up was therefore a logical option," said Van der Poel. "In the coming years I want to develop myself further as a rider and to push my limits. In that respect, the team and I are on the same line and that is very important to me.

"My program is being mapped out towards the Olympic Games in 2020. That is what top mountain biking is all about. And that preparation starts right after the cyclo-cross season. On March 10 I will ride the first World Cup of the season in Stellenbosch and I will normally complete the entire World Cup."

The new name comes as Beobank steps aside as lead title sponsor after two years. Corendon, an Turkish airline company that joined as title sponsor at the same time, steps up to the lead slot, while team has brought on a new sponsor in Circus, a Belgian betting company. Circus already sponsors the Era-Circus team, led by Laurens Sweeck, and Belgian website report that they will continue to do so until the end of the cyclo-cross season in March. 

Both Corendon and Circus have signed three-year deals, starting on January 1, to secure the sponsorship of the Roodhooft brothers' team through to the end of 2020. 

"The fact that both Corendon and Circus are committed to the team by the end of 2020 shows a lot of confidence and ensures the necessary continuity," said team manager Philip Roodhooft. "We had an agreement with Beobank until the end of 2018, but they stepped aside to guarantee the continuity of the team.

Despite stepping down from the men's team, Beobank will still continue to back the IKO-Beobank women's team, led by world champion Sanne Cant. 

Having previously been with Hamburg-based bike manufacturer Stevens, the team switches to Canyon and Van der Poel and his teammates will be racing on the Inflite CF SLX cyclo-cross model. 

"Mathieu is quite simply the biggest talent in the sport right now," said Roman Arnold, founder and CEO of Canyon. "Watching him ride is something else, each time he competes he's so committed, so skilful, and rides with such passion. For all of us here at Canyon, it's pure cycling, through and through."

The team races a road programme once the cyclo-cross campaign is done and dusted, and the riders will use the Aeroad road bike and Speedmax time trial bike.

Both the new name and bike supplier come into effect at the turn of the new year, with the first race outing to be the Grand Prix Sven Nys on Monday on New Year's Day.  

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