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Cofidis to launch women’s cycling team in 2022

Financial services firm also extends sponsorship of UCI WorldTour outfit until 2025.

12 April 2021 Ed Dixon
  • UCI WorldTour team’s budget to be increased by €1.5m per year
  • Cofidis pledges annual budget of around €1m for women’s outfit

French financial services company Cofidis has extended its title sponsorship agreement with the Team Cofidis cycling outfit and revealed the latest plans for its new women’s team.

Founded in 1997, the team, which competes in the elite UCI WorldTour, will continue to receive Cofidis backing until the end of the 2025 season. The previous deal had been due to expire at the end of the 2022 campaign.

The new partnership will see Cofidis increase the team’s UCI WorldTour budget by €1.5 million (US$1.8 million) per year and continue to support the disabled team, which was created in 1999.

In addition, the company has reaffirmed its commitment to form a women’s team, having initially announced plans last January. The women’s outfit will officially launch on 1st January 2022 and compete in the second-tier Continental division.

Gaël Le Bellec has been tasked with putting together a team of around ten female riders in what Cofidis has described as a ‘long-term project’. The firm has also pledged to give the team a budget of around €1 million (US$1.2 million) per year.

Meanwhile La Vuelta, one of cycling’s three Grand Tours, has inked an extension with Japanese cycling brand Shimano until 2024.

Unipublic, the organiser of La Vuelta, and Shimano have been working together for over 20 years, with the latest renewal seeing the brand become the official technical service provider of the event, offering neutral race assistance services to riders.

The tie-up also covers the women’s race, La Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, as well as other Unipublic-operated events, such as Volta a Catalunya and the Itzulia Basque Country.

Shimano already has deals with the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia organisers.

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