Los Angeles (AFP) - US bicycle manufacturer Cannondale will join forces with Slipstream Sports in 2015 and repace Garmin as the title sponsor of Slipstream's UCI ProTeam, the firms announced on Wednesday.
American outfit Slipstream was seeking a title sponsor to replace Garmin, whose deal will expire at the end of this season.
"Technically it's not a merger," Slipstream chief executive Jonathan Vaughters told velonews.com. "It's still Slipstream Sports, LLC, as the owner and management of the team. Cannondale becomes a large shareholder. Slipstream chairman Doug Ellis remains the primary shareholder.
Garmin will maintain a relationship with the team as well, Vaughters said. Eight riders currently under contract to Cannondale will be offered contracts under the terms they had in place, and will have until the UCI's World Tour registration date of October 15 to decide.
Fourteen riders currently have contracts with Slipstream for next year, and those contracts will also be honored, Vaughters said.
"We will be adding some great talent to an already outstanding roster and we believe the team will build on past success and will produce very exciting racing in 2015," he said.
Cannondale has been involved with pro cycling since 1997, when it became the technical sponsor of Saeco and the first US manufacturer to sponsor a European Pro Tour team.
In 2010, Cannondale became a co-sponsor of the Italian Liquigas-Cannondale team and became title sponsor and owner in 2013 with the creation of Cannondale Pro Cycling.
Slovakian Peter Sagan has been the current Cannondale team's highest profile rider, but the Tour de France green jersey winner said earlier this month he would join Russian-owned Tinkoff-Saxo in 2015.