UCI Professional Continental outfit Project 1t4i, the former Skil-Shimano team that includes young German talents John Degenkolb and Marcel Kittel on its roster, has this morning announced that it is changing its name to Team Argos-Shimano and has unveiled its new kit.
When the team was oficially presented in January, general manager and team owner Iwan Spekenbrink revealed that its sponsor would be unveiled at the end of March, explaining that the delay was due to having to tie in with the sponsor's own marketing plan. Argos Oil, which merged earlier this year with North Sea Group, has previously been involved with the team as a sub-sponsor.
In a statement today on the team website, Spekenbrink said: "I am very happy that I can finally mention the name of our new main sponsor. The entire team is awfully proud that we have succeeded in committing a European multinational who will enable us to develop further in the coming years. Moreover, we find it very important that Argos wholeheartedly underwrites our team’s core values; Team spirit (1t), Inspiration, Integrity, Improvement and Innovation (4i’s)."
Peter Goedvolk, founder of Argos and CEO of Argos North Sea Group, which has a combined anual turnover of €11 billion, commented: "We are all working hard to transform from an oil company into an all-round energy provider. For this, we are thinking far beyond oil products. In the near future, we also want to provide electricity and gas to European households.
"Especially in those countries where Argos is or wants to be active, cycling is an incredibly popular sport. Therefore, I am convinced that sponsoring this talented and ambitious cycling team is the best way to draw European consumers’ attention to the Argos brand and thereby realize our growth ambitions better and quicker."
Jan Dirks, the energu company's director for branded sales & marketing Europe added: ‘We have decided to sponsor this team because Argos and 1t4i have a lot in common.
"Both the team and us are relatively new kids on the block, operating in a mature environment. We both are very ambitious, we want to be leading in Europe by challenging established competitors with innovative concepts. And we both have the courage to stand out from the crowd."
The team has five victories to its name so far this season, four of those from Kittel including a stage of the 3 Days of De Panne earlier this week. Its new jerseys will make their race debut in Sunday's Tour of Flanders. Blogger the Inner Ring had already tweeted a picture of the new kit this morning prior to the official announcement.
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.