Team Sky may have raised eyebrows earlier this year when it announced its team cars would be supplied by Jaguar, but it seems to have started a trend for ambitious outfits aiming to make a mark on the peloton to go upmarket when it comes to four wheels.
Today, Mercedes-Benz Luxembourg has announced a partnership with the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project, which will see it supply everything from the compact A Class car to team buses that may well give Team Sky’s fabled travelling homes a run for their money.
The team, which is yet to announce its headline sponsor but has confirmed it will be riding Shimano-equipped Trek bikes, is being put together by Byan Nygaard, former press officer at Riis Racing, owner of Saxo Bank. The fledgling outfit is also seeking a ProTour license, one of 14 teams seeking eight that are up for grabs this year.
“We look forward to be supporting the ambitious goal of winning the Tour de France for Luxembourg with this new team”, says Gerhard Roth, managing director of Mercedes-Benz Luxembourg . “This partnership with the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project fits well with our brand philosophy of 'The best or nothing'.”
“The advanced and classy technology and the tremendous diversity of Mercedes-Benz products offer the perfect vehicles for a professional cycling team at the highest level. Providing vehicles from the A, C and E classes, a Viano, three Sprinters, two Actros and two Travegos will be our contribution to bringing the team around Andy and Fränk Schleck to the fore as they continue the tradition of Charly Gaul and the other top Luxembourg cyclists.,” he continued.
Nygaard added: “The partnership with Mercedes-Benz Luxembourg is based on mutual respect and gives us the opportunity to work with a market leader and a brand at the highest level. We will be provided with vehicles that meet all of our diverse needs and we are looking forward to hitting the races with the coolest cars in the peloton.”
“We are an international team with a deep commitment to Luxembourg. A big part of our fanbase is here, our riders Andy and Fränk Schleck live here with their families, and now, we will also have our partner Mercedes-Benz Luxembourg, which has been firmly connected to the country and its people for more than a hundred years.”
Wolfgang Ufer, Director of Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Luxembourg, commented: “We look forward to the collaborative partnership with the Luxembourg cycling team because we have a collective base: success through performance and the desire to be the best.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.