Skoda UK has announced a new sponsorship deal with The Tour of Britain, where the manufacturer will take ownership of the King of the Mountains Jersey and will become the Tour's Official Car Partner.
The partnership will see three Skoda King of the Mountain sprints take place on each stage of the 2011 race, between 11th and 18th September 2011, starting in Scotland and finishing in London.
Skoda was originally a bicycle manufacturer and has been associated with the sport since 1895. Cycling still plays an important role for Skoda, where it is an official partner of the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Tour de Suisse and in the UK Skoda is associated with Rapha Condor Sharp and Team Raleigh.
Skoda will provide a fleet of 50 vehicles and will be responsible for guiding riders across Britain as they compete in the biggest professional bike race in the UK.
16 teams of six riders will take place in the Tour of Britain, all of whom will cover approximately 767 miles travelling from Scotland to the Midlands and finally on to central London.
Skoda vehicles will be supporting five teams, including two British UCI Continental teams, Rapha Condor Sharp and Team Raleigh, both hoping to become the first British pro team to win a stage of The Tour of Britain.
Catherine Sleigh, Head of Press & PR for Skoda UK, comments: "We're very proud of Skoda's long history in cycling and our partnership with the Tour of Britain gives us the exciting opportunity to help deliver the UK's leading professional bike race. The gruelling 767 mile course should offer the perfect chance to demonstrate the high standards to which our vehicles are designed and engineered.
"It's also an honour to be sponsoring the iconic King of the Mountains jersey and I hope that cycling fans across the UK will be drawn to each of the 'Skoda King of the Mountain sprints' to witness the action first hand."
Commenting on the partnership, Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive for SweetSpot Group, organisers of The Tour of Britain, said: "This is excellent news for The Tour of Britain and we look forward to Skoda becoming synonymous with the King of the Mountains at this year's event.
"The 2011 Tour will be the last major cycling event in Britain before the London Olympics and will give British cycling fans the opportunity to see the best professional riders in the world competing on our roads. We're delighted to have Skoda on board for what promises to be another fantastic event and true celebration of cycling talent."
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