According to several sources, including Bike Europe, Merida Bikes, the bike maker more famous for being the OEM behind several other top brands, is poised to reveal a sponsorship agreement between Merida and Team Lampre.
The news on the Merida sponsorship is denied nor confirmed by Merida spokesman Peter Koperdraad, general manager of Merida Benelux. “We will issue an official press release on 21 September. Until then we will deny everything”, said Peter Koperdraad. “Merida is talking with several teams and perhaps arrangements have been made. However we will not give any comment on this issue until existing contracts with current sponsors are terminated.”If this is the pairing that will be announced this Friday, it would see Taiwan's largest bike makers go head to head in Pro Tour competition. Giant, the industry's largest bike maker, has been a major sponsor of Team Rabobank since 2009. Lampre will be switching from Willier bike frames to the Merida Scultura.
Team Lampre is still reeling from serious doping accusations directed at several current and former riders in the Mantova investigation. Perhaps a little positive attention can boost morale for next year.