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VN news ticker: EKOÏ to supply Israel-Premier Tech kit; Ineos Grenadiers and Oakley part ways

Here's what's making headlines on Monday, December 12.

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EKOÏ announces three-year deal with Israel-Premier Tech

EKOÏ has announced a three-year deal to sponsor Israel-Premier Tech, supplying helmets and kits to the UCI ProTeam starting in 2023.

The French brand also sponsors other high-level teams, including Arkéa-Samsic and Lotto-Soudal.

During the 2022 season, Israel-Premier Tech used kits made by Israeli brand Jinga Racing Apparel and helmets from HJC.

The team includes well known riders like Chris Froome and Michael Woods, but dropped to the bottom of the UCI WorldTour rankings in 2022 and has been relegated to ProTeam status for next season.

Ineos-Grenadiers part ways with Oakley

Oakley and Ineos-Grenadiers are parting ways.

The team today announced a new partnership with SunGod, a British brand launched in 2013.

“INEOS Grenadiers is a performance-led team so we pride ourselves on working with the most forward-thinking, agile and performance-driven partners – that’s why we’ve chosen SunGod as our new, long-term eyewear partner,” said deputy team principal Rod Ellingworth.

“Their product quality and commitment to continuously raising the industry bar is excellent and we’re really excited by the pipeline of innovative products we will develop together. We’re delighted to welcome SunGod to the team and look forward to showcasing their products at the highest level of competitive cycling.”

SunGod sponsors a number of other high profile sports organizations with British ties, including McLaren F1, and the INEOS Britannia America’s Cup sailing team that shares a sponsor with the cycling team. This is the brand’s first sponsorship with a WorldTour cycling team.

Oakley, the sports eyewear heavyweight, had been with the team through its various names over the last dozen years, and had enjoyed the long run of success that came with it. The brand has also been ridden by many of the top riders and teams in cycling for decades.

Maybe the most important question from this news, though, is what happens to Geraint Thomas’ iconic shades?

Geraint Thomas is almost never without his discontinued Oakley Racing Jacket sunglasses. (Photo: Ion Alcoba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Quick-Step riders battle it out with team staff on the soccer pitch

Sports are a classic way to create bonding within a company. Most companies aren’t full of pro athletes though.

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team held its annual soccer match over the weekend, the Calpe Cup, between the riders and the staff, and the staff held its own among the squad stacked with world class athletes. (Ok, they’re good at riding bikes, maybe not so much at sports that involve a ball).

It was reportedly an action-packed nail-biter, ending in a 3-3 draw.