THE HAGUE (AFP) — Dutch cycling outfit Skil-Shimano is set for a name change, and a new sponsor whose aim is to hoist the second division outfit into the World Tour ranks, team chief Iwan Spekenbrink said Tuesday.
“It will be a new top level team … whose foundation will be the current structure of the Skil team,” Spekenbrink said in a statement. He added that the new sponsor, which will come on board in the spring of 2012, had agreed to a three-year deal.
The team will then become known as ‘Project 1t4i.’ According to a team statement, 1t4i stands for: Team spirit, Inspiration, Integrity, Improvement and Innovation.
The team will aim for WorldTour status for the 2012 or 2013 season.
Despite its current Pro Continental status, Skil-Shimano has notched up some significant victories this season, thanks in large part to German sprinter Marcel Kittel.
He will be joined by compatriot John Degenkolb, another sprint specialist, for next season while bigger things will be expected by current team members Tom Veelers of the Netherlands and Frenchman Alexandre Geniez.
U.S.-based Felt Bicycles announced last week that it would supply bikes for the team next season.