By Nigel Wynn
The Garmin and Saxo Bank ProTeams have both announced new co-title sponsors ahead of the 2012 Tour de France, which starts on Saturday (June 30) in Liege, Belgium.
The American-registered team will now be known as Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda, after the technology company signed up to support the team. Sharp is already involved in cycling sponsorship having been co-sponsor of the British-based Rapha-Condor-Sharp team.
According to a Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda press statement, Sharp will "outfit the team with its leading Aquos LCD screens, audio products, solar panels, air purification systems, microwave and steam cooking equipment, refrigerators and multifunction printing devices".
Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda's new kit will be unveiled on Thursday (June 28) at a pre-Tour press conference.
Meanwhile, Bjarne Riis's Danish Saxo Bank squad has inked a deal with Tinkoff Bank as co-title sponsor, with the team's kit now featuring a splash of yellow, and the team will henceforth be known as Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank.
Russian bank Tinkoff already has a long-running association with cycling, having been title sponsor of a ProTour team for the 2007 and 2008 seasons - the squad was renamed Katusha in 2009.
Saxo Bank has said that it will stay as sponsor with the squad through to the end of 2013.
Both teams have already announced their nine-man line-ups for the 2012 Tour:
Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda Tour de France roster
Tom Danielson (USA)
Tyler Farrar (USA)
Ryder Hesjedal (Can)
Robbie Hunter (RSA)
Dan Martin (Irl)
David Millar (GBr)
Christian Vande Velde (USA)
Johan Vansummeren (Bel)
David Zabriskie (USA)
Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank Tour de France roster
Juan Jose Haedo (Arg)
Jonathan Cantwell (Aus)
Nick Nuyens (Bel)
Chris Anker Sorensen (Den)
Nicki Sorensen (Den)
Michael Morkov (Den)
Anders Lund (Den)
Karsten Kroon (Ned)
Sergio Paulinho (Por)
Tour de France 2012: Cycling Weekly's coverage index