• Thomas Voeckler will continue with Direct Energie (Sirotti)Source: Sirotti
Electricity and gas supplier Direct Energie is taking over from Europcar as main sponsor of manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau's cycling team from next year, the two parties said on Tuesday.
By
Reuters

16 Sep 2015 - 8:21 AM  UPDATED 16 Sep 2015 - 8:24 AM

Europcar, which took over from Bouygues Telecom in 2011, had announced earlier this year that it would end its sponsorship at the end of 2015.

Direct Energie and Bernaudeau's team announced their partnership at a press conference.

“I chose Direct Energie because I wanted a partner that would be seduced by the long-lasting work I led for the training of riders," Bernaudeau said. 

"I am convinced that Direct Energy Cycling team will surprise and bring good vibes to the peloton thanks to its ‘panache' and fighting spirit."

The team features French crowd favourite Thomas Voeckler, who finished fourth overall in the Tour de France in 2011, as well as sprint specialist Bryan Coquard.

A significant 2016 singing for the rebadged team is Sylvain Chavanel, who transfers from IAM Cycling.

The team will fill out the rest of its roster from the amateur ranks, notably the Vendée U team.

"We will have 20 or 21 riders next year,” Bernaudeau said.