French WorldTour team will lose its title sponsor at end of 2015 season

Rental car company Europcar will stop sponsoring its French first division team in the WorldTour with the close of 2015.

“We are preparing our fifth year of partnership alongside Bernaudeau’s team and we will be keen to show our support throughout the 2015 season as we did for four years now,” Europcar international communications director, Nathalie Poujol told AFP news agency.

“We wanted to communicate our decision as soon as possible to the team to facilitate its search for a new partner.”

Europcar began its sponsorship of Jean-René Bernaudeau’s team in 2011, taking over Bouygues Telecom. It raced in the second division and joined the first division for 2014 when team Vacansoleil-DCM disbanded.

The current team in green began as Bonjour in 2000 and switched to sponsor Brioches La Boulangère for 2003 and 2004. Telecommunications company Bouygues took over in 2005.

At the Tour de France, its cyclist Pierre Rolland (Europcar) won the 2012 stage to La Toussuire and in 2011, won the Alpe d’Huez stage and the young rider’s white jersey. Thomas Voeckler is the team’s most recognisable cyclist thanks to his riding style and four Tour stage wins.

Out of the 17 teams for the first division for 2015, France will have three: Europcar, Ag2R and FDJ. Only the US has as many teams in the top ranks.