Trek-Segafredo reportedly to become Lidl-Trek from Tour de France
The Trek-Segafredo team are reportedly set to rebrand ahead of this year's Tour de France after attracting major new title sponsorship from supermarket chain Lidl.
According to Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws and Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, the US-registered set-up will be known as Lidl-Trek going forward.
The current Trek-Segafredo comprises men's and women's WorldTour squads but only the men's is referenced in the HLN report, although the squads are conjoined to the extent that it would be surprising if the Lidl deal only covered the men.
The deal is said to commence on July 1, the start date of the 2023 Tour de France, and continue into 2024 and beyond, although the exact contract duration is unclear at this stage.
The Tour de France Femmes follows straight on from the men's Tour on July 23. However, the Giro d'Italia Donne starts on June 30, so it remains to be seen how the rebrand works on the women's side. The sponsorship news and the team's new colours could be revealed in the days before the start of both races.
The team declined to comment on the matter to Cyclingnews, describing the reports as "rumours".
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The team, which traces its roots to the Leopard Trek outfit that began in 2011, have been on the lookout for a new title sponsor with Segafredo's contract due to expire at the end of 2023.
The Italian coffee company joined in 2016 and renewed for another three years in 2019 as the women's squad was launched, before adding another two years from 2022. The reports indicate that Segafredo will step aside early to allow Lidl to begin their backing at the time of maximum exposure at the Tour de France.
This is not Lidl's first involvement in professional cycling. The German-based supermarket company, which has strong presence throughout Europe, was a co-sponsor of the QuickStep team from 2016 to 2021 and is a current partner of the Flanders Classics series of Spring races, including the Tour of Flanders.
The terms of Lidl's sponsorship are not yet known but Het Laatste Nieuws suggests there will be "a hefty budget increase".
The men's team, who were 12th in the 2022 UCI rankings and currently sit sixth in the 2023 standings, only have 11 riders under contract for 2024, with room to manoeuvre in the transfer market.
Giulio Ciccone is one of the team's key leaders, along with the Classics pairing of Mads Pedersen and Jasper Stuyven. The veteran Bauke Mollema is on a long-term deal, while 22-year-old Mattias Skjelmose is making his breakthrough at the top level and Belgian talent Thibau Nys is perhaps not far behind.
The women's team have just as many riders on board, with 11 of their 14-strong roster under contract through 2024. Team leaders include former road race world champions Lizzie Deignan and Elisa Balsamo, current time trial world champion Ellen van Dijk, plus Elisa Long Borghini and up-and-coming talets in Shirin van Anrooij and Gaia Realini.