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Deceuninck holds talks to reduce cycling sponsorship commitments

(Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is being felt across road cycling with Deceuninck, one of the co-title sponsors of men’s International Cycling Union (UCI) World Tour team Deceuninck-QuickStep, indicating it is in talks to reduce its financial contribution to the team.

Reports in the Belgian press state that the lack of exposure afforded to window specialists Deceuninck due to the suspension of the cycling season has prompted the brand to reassess the deal.

Deceuninck chief executive Francis Van Eeckhout, told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad that discussions with team manager Patrick Lefevre are ongoing. He said: “Especially now that we’re in our second season [as sponsor], we wanted to reap the benefits of our sponsorship.”

He also indicated a willingness to work collaboratively with the team and not exit the contract completely, stating: “I hope we get there ‘as decent people’. We know how many staff the team employs. It is certainly not the intention to pull the plug.”

Belgian lottery Lotto and sealant, adhesive and PU foams manufacturer Soudal, title sponsors of fellow Belgian road cycling team Lotto-Soudal are also said to be considering the scaling back of financial commitments to the team.

Lotto-Soudal has already reduced its riders’ salaries, along with rival teams Astana, Bahrain McLaren, CCC Team, and Michelton-Scott.

In contrast, UCI women’s Continental team CAMS-Tofisi has received full backing from headline sponsor, cycling accident support firm CAMS. The company has indicated it remains committed to its three-year agreement.

The UCI took the decision to suspend cycling across all disciplines and categories until June 1 due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The Tour De France still remains scheduled to begin on June 2.