LAS VEGAS, NV (BRAIN)--Felt Bicycles and the Netherlands-based Skil-Shimano professional cycling team have signed a three-year agreement, plus an option for further years.
As the official frame sponsor of Skil-Shimano, Felt will supply all necessary road and TT framesets. Skil-Shimano will begin the 2012 season aboard Felt’s F-series road race frames and UCI-legal DA time trial frame.
“Choosing a team globally was very important,” said Felt president Bill Duehring. “If you look at the rider roster, there are Europeans, Japanese, Chinese and soon to be Americans—so for us to grow our image globally we really wanted a team that wasn’t just European-based. We want to grow in Asia. We want to grow all over the world. From an image standpoint that’s a reason why we chose this team.”
Skil-Shimano recorded impressive results in its 2011 campaign, accumulating 21 wins including a Grand Tour stage victory at the Vuelta. Although the entire 2012 roster has not been announced, it is clear that the 2012 team will be the strongest Skil-Shimano team yet assembled. The nucleus of the team is formed around Tom Veelers, Alexandre Geniez, and an emerging trio of German riders including Marcel Kittel, John Degenkolb and Patrick Gretsch.
“The management of the team has the same vision as we do,” Duehring said. “They’re a team that wants to push technology. Part of this agreement is that their athletes will communicate with our engineers. There’s no question that our product is better today because of the professional athletes that we sponsor.”
The team will be applying for a Pro Tour license before the end of the year for the 2012 season.