The names of the pro teams are part of the language of cycling, but what the title sponsors actually do is sometimes a mystery to most of us. Okay, we all know that Sky is a telecommunications/TV company and BMC Racing Team doesn’t leave much room for confusion, but some of the sponsors are a little more obscure. Here are some of the most interesting from the top levels of the sport.
Bora makes hobs that draw cooking vapours and smells away before they can spread around your house, hence all the videos of world champion Peter Sagan cooking that have appeared on social media over the past few months. To be fair, he does them well in a Blue Peter kind of way.
For the record, fellow title sponsor Hansgrohe makes taps, sinks, showers and stuff like that, if you were wondering.
The Segafredo half of Trek-Segafredo refers to an Italian coffee brand. It’s no surprise to find coffee featuring among the World Tour team sponsors, caffeine being about as central to cycling as shaved legs and Lycra. It always has been. You might well know, for example, that the Faema name which was emblazoned across Eddy Merckx’s chest for a large part of his career is a brand of coffee machine.
We all know by now that Alpecin is a caffeine shampoo (more caffeine in cycling!) because we’ve all seen the “German engineering for your hair” ads.
Katusha started with the team and has since expanded into clothing and travel. Katusha also makes an excellent cup of coffee (honestly) at its pop-up café.
Soudal makes adhesives. 300ml of its white Decorator’s Caulk will cost you just 98p from B&Q.
Mapei, a big name in cycling in the 1990s and early 2000s, is also well represented in your local DIY store thanks to a range that covers a similar area.
Oh, and vaguely related, there’s Quick-Step flooring, of course.
Groupama - FDJ
The team run by double Paris-Roubaix winner Marc Madiot (far left, above) got a substantial cash injection for 2018 when French-based insurance company Groupama came on board as a sponsor
FDJ stands for Francaise des Jeux (which roughly translates as ‘French Games’) which is the operator of France's national lottery. No prizes for working out that Lotto-Soudal and LottoNL-Jumbo are also linked to lotteries. Jumbo, by the way, is a supermarket chain in the Netherlands.
Astana Pro Team is sponsored by a group of state-owned companies from Kazakhstan and is named after its capital city. Fun fact: Astana is the second coldest capital city in the world after Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, despite sitting at roughly the same latitude as London. True. You can impress your friends with that one, if your friends are easily impressed.
This one is pretty well known; Movistar is a big Spanish mobile phone and broadband operator owned by Telefónica, the company behind O2.
Cofidis is properly called Cofidis Solutions Crédits, and you don’t need to be fluent in French to work out that the company specialises in consumer credit. Finance is well represented in the pro peloton: AG2R La Mondiale provides life insurance and pensions while Fortuneo from the Fortuneo-Oscaro Pro Continental team is an online bank. Oscaro, on the other hand, sells car parts.
Belgium's Verandas Willems is exactly what it sounds like: a company that specialises in verandas and extensions. Crelan used to be known as Landbouwkrediet and is a Belgian bank. The team has a cyclo-cross squad that's co-sponsored by Charles, a Belgian food company.
Team Manzana Postobon
Colombia-based Pro Continental team Manzana Postobon takes the name of an apple flavoured soft drink. The drink is pink, hence the colour of the logo and kit.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.