In choosing its bikes for the next three years, Quick Step team will be going back to its Belgian roots, signing a new sponsorship deal with Merckx cycles.
By inking a deal with Merckx, the team marks an end to its three-year relationship with California-based Specialized.
“It’s a matter of pride for us to have by our side such a prestigious brand and a cycling icon like Eddy,” said Patrick Lefevere, managing director of Quick Step.
Lefevere, however, had nothing but praised for Specialized and the support the team received over the 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons.
“Over the three years we have been together, no other team has matched our achievements, and Specialized has been a big part of those results by developing bikes and equipment that give the riders a real edge. I want to thank (Specialized president) Mike (Sinyard) and the Specialized team for their support.”
The Quick Step team is Belgian to its roots, though, and reaching a sponsorship deal with Merckx, said Lefevere, joins the team with that country’s greatest cyclists.
“Our relationship is based on mutual respect,” said Lefevere. “Founded 30 years ago as one of Eddy’s ideas, today the company is an international player with Eddy at its heart. We’re sure that this relationship will be mutually beneficial, allowing both the team and the company to grow further and to reach some important common goals in the professional field.”
Sinyard said Specialized’s relationship with Quick Step has been remarkably productive for the company.
“It is with mutual respect and appreciation for what we have achieved together that Patrick and I want to announce that Specialized and Quick Step will part ways in 2010,” said Sinyard in a release issued Friday. “I truly appreciate all that Patrick and the team have done for our brand and sport.”
“The biggest benefit we get from sponsoring pro racing is the ability to build better products because the best riders push us to continually improve and take on new challenges. Team Quick Step has helped us create bikes and equipment that are now available to every rider, straight from the shop. We are so grateful to the team and riders for these contributions,” Sinyard concluded.
Specialized is poised to announce a new sponsorship deal with another team.