After being initially branded Fortitude Pro Cycling, Marianne Vos’s team looks to have secured its long-term future with a new five year deal with WM3 Energie, a Dutch sustainable energy consultancy.
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The former Rabo-Liv team had been in danger of folding at the end of the 2016 season with the withdrawal of Rabobank from women’s professional cycling, four years after it withdrew from the men’s side of the sport in 2012 in the wake of the Lance Armstrong drug scandal.
The team will compete as WM3 Pro Cycling in 2017, with Vos joined by Polish road and time trial champion Katarzyna Niewiadoma and Dutch road champion Anouska Koster. However the squad will be without Olympic gold medallist Anna van der Breggan who will ride with Lizzie Deignan at Boels Dolmans, while former world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot has made the switch across to Canyon-SRAM.
Despite the considerable changes to the team’s line up, team manager Eric Van Boom is optimistic about the upcoming season: “We have an eager and talented team, which will be on the hunt for success, in 2017 and thereafter. Determination, courage and passion are the key words which describe our team. In short: fortitude, as we already announced previously.”