By Jason Sumner , VeloNews Associate Editor
Looking to increase its European presence, the Schwinn racing team has signed 20-year-old Frenchman Mickael Deldycke for the 2001 season. Deldycke takes over the spot previously occupied by American Dave Cullinan.
“It came down to those two guys,” said Schwinn sports marketing manager Susan DiBiase. “Our distributors wanted a greater presence in Europe and we think we get that with Mickael.”
Deldycke is coming off a breakout season that saw him finish third in the dual slalom at the world championships and fourth in the overall World Cup standings. In downhill, riding a limited schedule, he was 28th overall, including a fifth-place finish at Lausanne, Switzerland.
Deldycke, who rode for the Taillefer Bicycles team last season, started his cycling career in BMX, where he won world and European junior championships. He joins downhillers Leigh Donovan and Elke Brutsaert, cross country rider Jimi Killen, and trials rider Jeff Lenosky on the Schwinn team.
Meanwhile, Schwinn’s search for a co-title sponsor to replace departed Toyota has stalled.
“At this point we’re just going to move forward without one,” DiBiase said. “We’d certainly consider anything that came along, but it doesn’t look like anything’s going to happen this year.”