Lack of Tour invite kills BigMat sponsorship

The French retail chain BigMat became the second high profile sponsor to turn its back on cycling this week, the decision taken at a shareholders meeting in Paris on Thursday. The news is a blow to the sport, coming as it does 24 hours after Italian firm Mapei announced the end of its near-decade involvement in cycling. BigMat partly blamed the pull-out on the decision by the Tour de France organisers not to grant them an invitation for next month's race. "It's the second time that we haven't taken part in the Tour," BigMat's director general Jean-Luc Leroy told

By VeloNews Interactive wire services , Copyright AFP2002

The French retail chain BigMat became the second high profile sponsor to turn its back on cycling this week, the decision taken at a shareholders meeting in Paris on Thursday.

The news is a blow to the sport, coming as it does 24 hours after Italian firm Mapei announced the end of its near-decade involvement in cycling.

BigMat partly blamed the pull-out on the decision by the Tour de France organisers not to grant them an invitation for next month’s race.

“It’s the second time that we haven’t taken part in the Tour,” BigMat’s director general Jean-Luc Leroy told AFP.

BigMat’s team included former French champion Christophe Capelle.Copyright AFP2002