Deceuninck-QuickStep have signed a three-year agreement with water treatment firm Ekopak, in a partnership that blends with the WorldTour outfit's sustainability focus.
The Belgian company, started in 2004, will become a jersey sponsor. It specialises in providing industries with purified water and has since branched out to design, build and operate systems to reuse rainwater, surface water and waste water and to help companies limit their water use.
"Just like cyclists, companies can't perform without water," CEO Pieter Loose says. "Ekopak offers them innovative solutions to purify, treat and recycle water – all around the globe. Through our products and services, we make it possible to convert up to 90 per cent of wastewater into process water.
"What unites The Wolfpack and Ekopak is our clear way of working: sustainable, international and performance-oriented. The ultimate goal of both of us? To win and win again."
Deceuninck-QuickStep launched the #ItStartsWithUs environmental campaign in 2020, announcing its intent to become carbon neutral, to recycle and reduce plastic use. The team partnered with CO2logic to offset its carbon footprint, supporting projects in Uganda and France to compensate for emissions produced by team cars and international travel.
"The team has a lot in common with Ekopak, especially our ItStartsWithUs campaign, which perfectly matches their sustainability commitments," Team CEO Patrick Lefevere said. "We both want to grow internationally and be the leading example; without water the riders can't win. It's an essential product that we constantly use. Quality by using recycling technologies is the future and we are happy to also take the next step in this direction."
It is not the only sponsorship change Deceuninck-QuickStep has announced this season, with the team disclosing earlier this year that PVC extrusion company Deceuninck will be walking away at the end of 2021. However, Quick-Step Floors, which first sponsored the team in 2003, will be extending its partnership for another six years. Quick-Step brand AlphaVinyl is also set to take the secondary sponsor position, meaning the squad will be named QuickStep-AlphaVinyl next season.
Not only does the team have a long term deal with its key sponsor in place, but it has also signed several key riders to long-term extensions. Remco Evenepoel signed on through 2026, plus Tour of Flanders champion Kasper Asgreen and world champion Julian Alaphilippe are on board through 2024.
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