Marianne Vos' WM3 Pro Cycling Team will be known as WaowDeals Pro Cycling for the 2018 season. WM3 Pro Cycling will remain on-board as a secondary sponsor after agreeing a five-year deal with the team last winter.
The WM3 team, or Fortitude project, came from the ashes of the former Rabo-Liv squad after the long-term sponsor pulled out at the end of 2016. Team boss Eric van den Boom set up the new project with the idea of a 'business peloton' where companies of any size could come in at any time to develop a sponsorship deal with the squad.
"The name changes, but the team and the organisation stay intact," Van den Boom said in a team press release. "We have launched the Fortitude project mid-2016, which stands for an open team concept making it possible for all companies, big and small, to connect to top sport. Entrepreneurs are represented in the Business Peloton. By working with a larger network of companies, we would like to ensure continuity."
Waowdeals is a digital rewards scheme company and has been involved in cycling sponsorship for two years already as the secondary sponsor of the Belgian Lares-Waowdeals Team. Former world cyclo-cross champion Thalita de Jong was on their roster for the 2017 season. The company says that the deal with the team is a chance to step up their commitment to women's cycling.
"We are very proud of this agreement. Marianne Vos and her colleagues will be prominent ambassadors of our product," said WaowDeals CEOs Jan Harboort and Alain Daeghsel. "We already have been visible in the peloton and are convinced that we will make an even bigger name for ourselves with a larger audience. Women's cycling is growing very fast, and we will be represented on two fronts: on the road and in cyclo-cross."
The team confirmed much of their line-up for next season, with Rotem Gafinovitz, Yara Kastelijn, Anouska Koster, Jeanne Korevaar, Riejanne Markus and Marianne Vos all returning to the team.
They also named Dutch rider Sabrina Stultiens as their first new signing for the forthcoming season. Stultiens, who began her career predominantly as a cyclo-cross rider, was part of Team Sunweb's team time trial world title-winning team. More new riders are expected to be announced in the coming days.
This winter, the team will lose Katarzyna Niewiadoma after she penned a deal to move to Canyon-SRAM. Valentina Scandolara and Anna Plichta will also depart the team at the end of the season.