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by Shane Stokes
June 2, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Drucker takes home soil victory on stage 1 of Skoda Tour of Luxembourg, grabs race lead; Froome says Giro d’Italia ride means Quintana is not a major rival for Tour; Bahrain-Merida bikes stolen prior to Hammer Series race; Chaves returning to racing at Critérium du Dauphiné, Yates to lead Orica-Scott team; Dowset on Hammer Series: ‘Tactically, everything we know becomes secondary. This is new territory’; Hayman: ‘Teams are going to have to be thinking on their feet’; Team Sky unveils new kit for 2017 Tour de France; Gaviria and the other best stage-winning Grand Tour debuts; Fortuneo – Vital Concept sponsors set to split prior to Tour de France; Young British time triallist Joe Guy killed in collision with van; Video: Robbie McEwen previews the inaugural Hammer Series race; Video: Inside HED Cycling; Video: Ten – The BC Bike Race Movie; Video: Tour Series 2017 – Round 9, Durham
Although the Fortuneo – Vital Concept team is set for a major boost to its profile when it lines out in the Tour de France as a wildcard invite, the sponsorship deal between the team and Vital Concept will unravel before the drop of the flag.
According to French newspaper Le Télégramme, serious differences of opinion between the team manager Emmanuel Hubert and Patrice Étienne, the president of the Vital Concept company, is the reason for the rupture. The latter has been on board since January 2016 and has had its name publicised via participation in last year’s Tour.
The friction between Hubert and Étienne is such that Vital Concept will vacate the sponsorship slot prior to the start of the Tour. Instead, current team sponsor Oscaro will take the company’s name as secondary backer. The auto parts company is already a sponsor and is featured on the team kit. It will presumably step up its commitment to get the new slot.
According to Le Télégramme, one complication is that the team’s feeder team VCP Loudéac National Division 1 will lose its status. Étienne is its president. However the paper hints that a big new French team could be in the works, with Étienne involved, former professional Jérôme Pineau acting as general manager and French sprinter Bryan Coquard potentially coming on board.
He has just declined a contract renewal offer at Direct Energie.
Click through to read more at Le Télégramme.