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Dutch cycling team secures replacements for main sponsor Belkin

UCI World Tour cycling squad Team Belkin has confirmed that long-term sponsorship deals have been agreed in principle with the Dutch national lottery and retail company BrandLoyalty.

The team said that a “declaration of intent” has been signed with Lotto and BrandLoyalty, which already sponsors a speed skating squad in the Netherlands. Under the deals, the cycling and speed skating teams would be combined into the same ‘team’ brand, although a name for the outfit has not been announced.

The length of BrandLoyalty’s proposed deal has not been confirmed, but Lotto’s deal is set to run for up to four years.

“We aspire towards a collaboration of two years, with the option to add another two years,” Lotto marketing director Arno de Jong said. “This would make Lotto the name-giver of the first combined cycling-speed skating team. We are currently working on the details. Everything is focused on Lotto and BrandLoyalty joining forces to make sure the first professional speed skating-cycling team will start next season.”

There had been fears that the cycling team might fold after US consumer electronics company Belkin announced that it would be withdrawing its support at the end of the 2014 campaign.

Belkin’s sponsorship began ahead of last year’s Tour de France, with the company replacing Rabobank after the Dutch financial services company announced its withdrawal from cycling at the end of 2012.