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Blanco Pro Cycling set to become Belkin in new sponsorship deal

UCI ProTeam Blanco Pro Cycling could be set for a name change to Belkin after the US technology firm reportedly signed a deal to become the new sponsor of the team, according to the cyclingnews.com website.

The deal is believed to be two-and-a-half years long and is set to commence at the start of this year’s Tour de France at the end of June.

Initial reports of a partnership arose during last month’s Giro d’Italia, but the Dutch team’s boss Richard Plugge stressed last week that discussions were ongoing and a final agreement had yet to be signed.

Blanco had been known as Rabobank, but the Dutch bank announced last autumn that it would not be continuing its title sponsorship of the team. Despite ending the deal, it will continue to pay the team’s budget for this year and guarantee 18 riders until 2014.

Plugge confirmed the team is still searching for a second sponsor to help fill out its yearly budget, which is believed to be €15m ($19.6m).