Tony Martin Extends Contract Until 2016
With the beautiful landscape of Chateau de Lastours in the background, OPQS proudly announced to the media on Monday, during the second Tour de France rest day, that the team secured its future through 2017 thanks to the extended commitment of owner Mr. Bakala, and also crucial support of our sponsors. Starting in 2015 the team will be named “Etixx – Quick-Step.”
Etixx, the sports nutrition brand of Omega Pharma group, agreed to support the team as a main sponsor from the season 2015 through 2017. Quick-Step will continue as a main sponsor through 2015 with an option to extend.
Latexco continues its sponsorship for 2015, and Renson extends its support for two years through 2016, with an option for 2017.
“I don’t need to hide it, besides the image and the impact of the team in cycling, the success and results of the team also helped convince the sponsors to go on,” OPQS CEO Patrick Lefevere said. “So, this is the product of a winning team. It’s a lot of work to gather all the pieces of a winning team, the riders and the staff. I’m really proud of the staff I work with every day to reach common goals. I take care of my sponsors and do my best with my team to keep them happy and performing. In this moment we are one of the most established teams in cycling. Thanks to the help of our owner Mr. Bakala and our sponsors, we can build toward even more success as our future is possible.”
“Etixx is a Belgian brand and we’ve become a market leader there in just a few years,” Omega Pharma CEO Marc Coucke said. “We now want to internationalize it through investing in a cycling team to promote the maturity of the brand, to launch it everywhere in the world. OPQS reacted at the Tour de France with their hearts. Every day they want to try to win, and by doing so they won two stages despite some bad luck. They will keep fighting for another win this last week. If you can do that, in these circumstances, you are a top team. This is a fantastic team to sponsor with. The culture that the team breeds and grows, the fighting spirit, it’s so fantastic that you can’t have a better team to partner with. We’re glad the team can continue to three more years thanks to Mr. Bakala and the other partners. Thanks to this continuity, the riders will also feel a sense of security and we can really build in future years.”
“For us, Etixx is the most important brand in our portfolio to have in this partnership,” Omega Pharma Belgium General Manager Davy De Vlieger said. “It’s a brand focused on sports nutrition and improving performance. A cycling team is a great vehicle for brand recognition internationally, so we are very happy. We committed until 2017. It’s a long-term investment and we are happy to continue the partnership for three more years with this great team.”
“Quick-Step is very happy today,” Stijn Heytens, Quick-Step Marketing Director Unilin, said. “We can announce another partnership with this exciting team. We’re very proud as a design flooring brand, Quick-Step, to continue with this exciting professional cycling team. We’ve spent 16 years with our name in the peloton. It’s clear we think our brand in cycling is an important method of international brand recognition. We think this is a strong commitment to continue our relationship within the cycling world.”
“The renewal of our sponsorship was an easy choice,” Luc Maes of Latexco said. “Latexco considers sport sponsoring not only as an investment but also as a part of our corporate philosophy. The competitiveness, perseverance, team spirit and grinta that are all characteristics of the Omega Pharma – Quick Step Pro Cycling team, is also something that Latexco considers of paramount importance. Besides that, in this team I feel like I’m at home.”
“Cycling remains a very popular sport, in Belgium as well as internationally,” Paul Renson, CEO of Renson, said. “Through cycling we reach millions of people, along the tracks of the races and at home during live broadcasts. This is ideal for a company, that is well-known by the professionals in the construction sector, but also wants to invest more in getting a better name recognition with the consumer for its terrace coverings, wind-tight screens and ventilation systems. Our first seasons in cycling have confirmed that OPQS is a strong and ambitious partner with the drive to be a protagonist in every race. Moreover, cycling can be compared to business: the efforts of and the cooperation between the members in the chain determine the real strength of the team.”
The extended sponsorship of the team was not the only good and important news of the press conference. OPQS rider Tony Martin, who has been one of the most exciting riders of the 2014 Tour de France, having won a stage solo and the Combativity Award two stages in a row, extended his contract for two more years.
“I’ve had almost three great years now with the team, with a lot of support,” Martin said. “I gained a lot of new friends and I feel super comfortable. For me, there was no reason at all to change my team. I had a long talk with Patrick. We have chosen a lot of good goals for the future, goals we both want to reach. For example, it’s no secret the 2016 Olympic Games are a big goal. For Patrick the 2015 Tour de France is maybe a step higher with a 13.7km opening time trial in Utrecht. We set other goals together, both team and individual. It will be hard work, but I know the team will give me the best support I can have. I’m looking forward to the next few years and maybe even longer.”
“He was one of the leading riders of the team that was out of contract,” Lefevere said. “It was a very active discussion that started with the Tour of Belgium. He wanted to stay, I wanted to keep him, and we found each other finally. Now this is team is part of his professional life. He’s not only a super strong rider, but also a big motivator for the team. He always gives everything and is a great example for the young guys as as he’s a great time trialist, but someone who works for his teammates without hesitation and with pleasure. The arrival of Tony raised the level of our team. We are happy that his future will be with us as he brings much to the table as a rider, and also as a person.”