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Burger King will bring Whoppers to the world of pro cycling in 2022.
Burger King Italia is set to become a backer of Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso’s Italian-registered Eolo-Kometa crew next season.
“From next year Burger King Italia will be with us. Seeing such an important company get on board our team and cycling in general makes us all very happy,” Basso told Italian media this week.
Although the team will retain its Eolo-Kometa name, the iconic Burger King logo is set to appear on its sky-blue jerseys in 2022 where it will join title backers Eolo, an internet company, and Kometa, a pork processer.
Basso explained that the unlikely alliance came together after top brass at the fast-food chain followed Eolo-Kometa through its breakout Giro d’Italia debut this spring. Lorenzo Fortunato lit up the race for the second-division team, scoring a memorable victory atop the Zoncolan and finishing 16th overall.
“Alessandro Lazzaroni, CEO of Burger King Italy, threw himself into this adventure after he was with us at the Giro d’Italia,” Basso said. “He saw how the team works, what our identity is, and appreciated the project we have on young people.”
Eolo-Kometa has a long-term dream of hitting the WorldTour. Managed and owned by grand tour legends Basso and Contador along with Alberto’s brother Fran, the fledgling team is focused on developing young talent through the Fundación Alberto Contador.
Basso said that the backing of Burger King doesn’t make for an automatic step to the top of the sport after the squad only achieved ProTeam status in 2021.
“I like to keep my feet on the ground. We don’t have to make fancy flights, we need to grow and we will do it only thanks to our professionalism, results and seriousness,” he said. “If we are able to demonstrate all this, the sponsors will remain and we will be able to grow. We are slowly doing it: after three years of continental we have finished the first of professional with satisfactory results.”
Eolo-Kometa has Burger King, Remco Evenepoel has an ambassadorial deal with Pizza Hut … there will be Big Macs in musettes before you know it.