Continental AG has announced a five-year partnership with cycling’s Tour de France.
The German tyre manufacturer’s deal covers the 2018 to 2022 editions of the Grand Tour event. Under the terms of the agreement, fleet vehicles used by organiser ASO will be fitted with Continental’s Ultra High Performance tyres from the beginning of the new year.
The company will also enjoy high visibility around the Tour de France, with its branding to be present on banners around the race.
Continental has partnerships with eight professional cycling teams, including British outfit Team Sky, whose lead rider Chris Froome has won the last three editions of the race.
“This is a very important milestone in Continental's history because with the combined expertise of our two departments, we have the chance to accompany the Tour de France to a whole new level,” said Nikolai Setzer, an executive committee member at Continental.
"This is the next logical step in our commitment to developing and producing hi-tech tyres for racing bikes that will also be used in the Tour de France. This demonstrates our high level of competence in tyre production in a unique, globally important environment, a cycling race which, in addition to the maximum safety requirements, requires technological standards of rolling resistance and weight."
“It is an honour to welcome Continental to the Tour de France, a company of international status, with over 145 years of know-how at the top of its sector,” added Christian Prudhomme, general director of the Tour de France. “It is a great symbol for cycling that Continental wishes to be associated with the world’s biggest bicycle race. The commitment in terms of safety at bicycle races, combined with Continental’s research to develop ever more efficient tyres, confirms the values and logic behind this partnership. The tyre is the only point of contact between a bike and the road; it is therefore a key element in the practice of this sport.”