Vacansoleil set to leave cycling after achieving its marketing goals

Dutch team learns it will lose its second title sponsor in a week

VAJONT, Italy (AFP) — Vacansoleil announced Wednesday that it would not renew its sponsorship of the cycling team that bears its name after 2013. The company will leave the sport after five years and joins the team’s other title sponsor, DCM, which announced earlier this week that it would depart at the end of the year.

“Vacansoleil took a well-measured decision and as a team we were aware of this scenario coming true. The organization of the team knows which direction it wants to go and we also know what the return for sponsors consists of,” team manager Daan Luijkx said in a statement. “Our pure story with accessibility and passion for all in cycling will also attract new companies.”

Vacansoleil, the high-end European campsite brand, said it had “reached and even exceeded its European objectives in early 2013.”

“The fact that Vacansoleil reached their goals in five years is a shame in one way since they quit but also a big compliment to the team. We are proud on the investment they dared to undertake due to the fast growth and we were blessed with the sincere commitment,” said Luijkx. “They had a lot of confidence in the team and understood cycling while they kept a clear border between sports and commercial interest. The company, which offers luxury camping holidays, approached the sponsorship as a business transitation [sic] and used the team in all the years to activate their brand. They looked at the doping problems of the sport from the current position of the sport and the measures taken by the team, which made it no issue in the decision of the team.”

Belgian Thomas de Gendt (third in the 2012 Giro d’Italia), Italian Marco Marcato (winner of Paris-Tours last year), Dutchmen Lieuwe Westra and Wouter Poels, and Frenchman Romain Feillu are among the team’s marquee riders.