Cannondale Pro Cycling will be known as Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling frome the 2016 Tour de France and beyond in a co-sponsorship deal announced on Thursday. The deal with the US-registered team will run for five years.
American-based property funds management business Drapac Capital Partners currently sponsors a Professional Continental level outfit, but the company's sponsorship of a WorldTour-level team means that they have fulfilled their goal of riding in the Tour.
In addition to adding its name to the Cannondale team, Drapac also becomes a 'substantial' shareholder in the squad's owner, Slipstream Sports.
"Michael Drapac and I have been friends for some time," said Slipstream CEO Jonathan Vaughters. "I have always been impressed with his entrepreneurial vision and understanding of markets. However, what piqued my interest in partnering with Michael is his passion for helping athletes find their way through life in a healthier way."
"Although it’s seldom acknowledged, most professional cyclists have given up everything in order to pursue excellence in their sport. While commendable, this leaves them very vulnerable to an ever more complex world."
The existing Drapac team will continue as Continental-level Drapac-Pat's Veg in 2017, and act as a development feeder squad for the WorldTour entity. Riders on the team will be required to also attend university or complete a higher-level qualification in addition to learning about the world of professional cycling.
"We need to teach our athletes to be whole," said Michael Drapac, chairman and founder of Drapac Capital Partners. "When the door of being an athlete closes, you would hope that they have the resources — financial and emotional — to transition to another phase of their lives. We need to understand that the human cost of professional sport is just horrific. That’s why I created the holistic development team."
The Cannondale-Drapac team kit features the red logo of the new sponsor, but retains the green Argyle design.
The Australian Orica-GreenEdge team also announced a change in co-title-sponsor for the Tour, becoming Orica-Bike Exchange.
Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling 2016 Tour de France team
Matti Breschel (Den)
Lawson Craddock (USA)
Alex Howes (USA)
Kristijan Koren (Slo)
Sebastian Langeveld (Ned)
Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu)
Pierre Rolland (Fra)
Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned)
Dylan Van Baarle (Ned)
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