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Shimano takes over neutral support at Tour de France

Published January 20, 2021
Deal across all ASO races marks end of era for Mavic and its iconic yellow vehicles.

PARIS (VeloNews) — Shimano will be taking over the neutral support role at the Tour de France and other marquee races this year, replacing longtime partner Mavic that began race support with its distinctive yellow vehicles in the 1970s.

ASO officials confirmed Tuesday that Shimano, the Japanese component maker, which also provides neutral support at the Vuelta a España, will provide neutral support at the Tour and ASO's other fleet of men's and women's races, including Paris-Roubaix.

Details of the deal were not revealed, but Mavic was struggling in 2020 before new owners, the French investment group Bourrelier, stepped in to save the historic brand. The new partnership comes as Shimano will celebrate its centenary this year.

"We have complete trust in the Shimano team to deliver a professional service towards teams and riders, as they have been doing for much of their 100-year history," said Thierry Gouvenou, ASO's heading of cycling.

The new partnership will end the Tour’s long association with Mavic for neutral support. The French company helped to pioneer the concept of neutral support at major pro bike races. For decades, riders had to repair their own punctures and deal with other mechanical problems. Eventually, the idea of neutral support was fully embraced, and by the 1970s, Mavic’s support vehicles soon became part of the caravan. It was not immediately known if Mavic is continuing its neutral support role at other events.

The new partnership begins at Paris-Nice in March.

Topics associated with this article: Racing & Sponsorship

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