Donckers Koffie, New Sponsor for Marco Polo Cycling Team

Donckers Koffie will be the new title sponsor of the Marco Polo Cycling Team in 2012. Thanks to the new partnership with Donckers Koffie, the UCI Continental team – which has just become the first Ethiopian Continental team after enjoying 10 years of success in China – will be able to race a full season of a pro-level program in Europe, with additional races in Asia and Africa. 

Rudi Donckers, owner of Donckers Koffie said: “We are very glad that we can stay involved in cycling and support international developments from the Belgium heartland of cycling. We were directly involved in the Qin Cycling Team last year, but we decided that linking up with a long-existing team like Marco Polo Cycling Team was a more efficient way to reach our commercial goals. 

We are pleased that Jelly Belly, Hi Chew, Dills, WIB and a number of other companies with whom we have enjoyed many successes with over the years, will also be joining us at Marco Polo Cycling. We expect to make a large contribution to this development team and its African riders, and we hope to see the young guys develop as we visit the races throughout the year!” 

The 19-strong Marco Polo Cycling – Donckers Koffie roster will consist of 6 talented Ethiopian riders that will join forces with very experienced pro riders like Matthé Pronk (NL), Jan Kuyckx (B) and Léon van Bon (NL), who all decided to continue their contracts with the team. 

New Zealand Olympic track medal candidates Marc Ryan (Team Pursuit) and Shane Archbold (Omnium) will integrate the team’ races in North Western Europe into their Olympic program.

Team director Gilbert de Weerdt said: “Next to existing sponsors like Frans Hendrickx, clothing brand CCN and a number of other loyal sponsors, the entrance of Donckers Koffie and their network will give the team the possibility to race a full season of a pro-level program. 

We will race numerous 1.1, 1.2 and pro races, with a focus in Belgium and in The Netherlands. Between the one day races, we will also be targeting some important international stage races in Europe, Africa and Asia. 

The team will also be supporting the African guys at several Cyclosportive events this season with the aim of following on from our success in the Gran Fondo Eddy Merckx last year, where Solomon Shiferaw showcased his climbing prowess by winning in the Ardennes. 

I think this program and our team of incredibly talented athletes combined with the experienced ‘oldies’, will give a fantastic opportunity to the younger guys to develop themselves, hopefully scoring some results in this highly competitive program along the way.” 

Marco Polo Cycling – Donckers Koffie 2012:

DE WEERDT Sven BEL 29.03.1978
KUYCKX Jan BEL 20.05.1979
VAN MECHELEN Matthias BEL 23.02.1988
ABRAHAM Daniel Eritrea 11.02.1985
ABELLO SANCHEZ Ruben ESP 19.04.1976
ABEBE Alem Grmay    Ethiopia    15.11.1990
BEKELE Binyam Fitsum    Ethiopia    18.09.1987
GEBRESILASSIE Estifanos Kebede    Ethiopia   18.02.1988
GIDAY Kbrom Hailay    Ethiopia    19.02.1989
KINFE Yirga Woidemariam    Ethiopia    19.02.1988
SHIFERAW Solomon Bitew    Ethiopia    13.07.1987
BARTLETT Chris GBR 12.08.1986
GREEN Matt GBR 02.10.1988
PRONK Matheus NED 01.07.1974
VAN BON Leon NED 28.01.1972
ARCHBOLD Shane NZL 02.02.1989
MACIC Christopher NZL 01.08.1988
RYAN Marc NZL 14.10.1982
GREENE Edward RSA 26.11.1990