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Look and Fortuneo-Samsic end partnership under two weeks before Tour de France

Joe Robinson
26 Jun 2018

Breton-based team left with limited time to find new bike sponsor ahead of next weekend's Tour Grand Depart

Historic French bicycle brand Look and Breton-French ProContinental team Fortuneo-Samsic have ended their bike partnership with immediate effect. This bizarre move sees the French team looking to secure a bike sponsor before the Tour de France in just 12 days' time.

The announcement to end the four year partnership was made in a joint press conference from president of Look Cycle, Federico Musi, and Fortuneo-Samsic team manager Emmanuel Hubert.

The release read, 'It has been a fruitful collaboration, grounded on a shared vision and passion to support and promote the best of French pro-cycling and of French manufacturing, Fortuneo-Samsic and Look Cycle both share ambitions for growth.

'We both wish each other good luck, starting from the upcoming Tour de France.'

Although the chopping and changing of bike sponsors is commonplace in cycling, the timing of this decision is somewhat peculiar.

Fotuneo-Samsic are one of four invited ProContinental teams to the Tour which starts on 7th July in the Vendee Region of north-west France.

It is unclear as to whether the Breton-based team have found an alternative to Look but it has been rumoured in local paper Ouest France that Spanish bike brand and former bike supplier to Direct Energie, BH, is willing to come on board.

For any team the Tour is the defining point of a season but it reigns even more supreme for smaller teams like Fortuneo who will be at the start line of this race on home soil.

The team and more importantly the riders will now have only 12 days to readjust to the new bike sponsor that is brought on board before having to race Stage 1 to Fontenay-le-Comte. 

This means adapting to new geometries and positions on the bike - something riders will usually spend whole winters doing - in less than two weeks. 

Fortuneo-Samsic will be heading to the upcoming Tour with star climber Warren Barguil, the Breton-born rider who managed to take the polka dot King of the Mountains jersey and finish 10th on General Classification riding at last year's race with Team Sunweb.

As for Look, it will no doubt look to dip its toe back into the world of professional cycling considering its long and illustrious history including Greg LeMond's 1986 Tour win.

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