Budget supermarket Lidl has been named as a new sponsor for the Etixx-Quick Step team for the next two seasons, with the German brand stepping up its cycling interests.
Previously, Lidl Belgium sponsored the Lotto-Belisol team and backed the Tour of Flanders, but this new foray into cycling sees the chain become the official fresh food supplier of Etixx.
In reality, the backing could be much more than supplying fruit and vegetables to the team. With Lidl set to become Europe’s biggest grocery company in the next few years, if current trends continue, their financial support could be significant.
The deal could pave the way for the team to sign a marquee German rider in the form of Marcel Kittel, with the Giant-Alpecin sprinter rumoured to be breaking his contract to join Etixx next year.
Etixx-Quick Step already boast one of the biggest names in German cycling in three-time world time trial champion Tony Martin, but the signing of eight-time Tour de France stage winner Kittel could be a big draw for German fans.