Belgian burger bar Quick has now issued a formal denial that it will sponsor the Schleck Brothers’ new team in 2011, following on from French supermarket chain Auchan. I for one find it odd that companies are rushing to say “no, we’re not sponsoring a cycling team” and wonder if it’s because they are getting annoyed with the Luxembourg media being led along by people behind the team.
Maybe it’s just the spectre of Neil Stephens that has brought back memories of the Linda McCartney team, a squad that is now found alongside the phrase “ill-fated”. Led by an apparent fantasist, they were supposed to have all sorts of sponsorship deals with Heinz foods, Jaguar cars and Jacob’s Creek wines, only not one deal was signed and instead, the sponsors named ended up issuing press releases distancing themselves from the squad.
I just hope this isn’t the case in Luxembourg, but the sponsorship denials concern me. Either way, we’ll find out around 1 September as this is the deadline when the team has to post a financial guarantee. It isn’t the deciding date for everything but it is a crucial step.