Marcus Bernhardt, Commercial Director of the Europcar Group, and Jean-René Bernaudeau, General Manager of Team Europcar, presented an overview of the 2014 season. This year the team will feature 27 riders, including 7 newcomers, and will be competing in the most prestigious races in the world, because as of 1st January 2014 Team Europcar was officially admitted to the exclusive UCI World Tour.
A look back at an outstanding 2013 season and ever-increasing media coverage
In 2013, Team Europcar finished the season as the leading team in the UCI Europe Tour rankings with 26 victories. This performance naturally resulted in a 55% increase in media coverage with more than 47 hours in 2013, up from 30 hours and 30 minutes in 2012, the equivalent of 5,658 30 second TV ads. Team Europcar was also the first French cycling team to have a Facebook page with more than 77,000 fans.
New goals for 2014
The increased international presence of Team Europcar will give Europcar, which is already present in more than 130 countries around the world, new opportunities that are a perfect fit with the Group’s global development strategy.
“We are very proud that Team Europcar has been admitted to the World Tour. In 2014, this will make it possible for us to meet all our targets in the countries where we have a direct presence or franchises and offer them a unique experience, that of Team Europcar. This was already the case with the Down Under Tour, which has just taken place in Australia, where we have a subsidiary. This event helped to develop our visibility in the country and launch a full public relations programme for our employees, customers and the local media,” explains Marcus Bernhardt, Commercial Director of the Europcar Group.
In 2014, every Europcar employee is highly motivated to support Team Europcar, within its entire network and particularly in the countries that host major international events such as the Tour de France, the Tour des Flandres to be held in Belgium in April, the Giro which takes place in Italy in May and La Vuelta in Spain at the end of August.
A new website for all Team Europcar fans
This season will also be an opportunity to breathe new life into the Team Europcar digital ecosystem thanks to a website that will give the fans access to the everyday life of the team. Europcar and the Team wanted to create a more modern, social site that brings fans closer to the team. To that end, a Team Europcar account has been created on Instagram and included in the website.
Teameuropcar.com will also be an essential platform for Europcar employees, Team Europcar’s number one supporters.
The new recruits at Team Europcar
There are new faces at Team Europcar this year. Apart from the promotion of Benoît Génauzeau to Director of Sport – after 8 years managing the pool of young talents – 7 new riders have also joined the team, “a mixture of youth and experience”, according to their General Manager: Antoine Duschene, Jimmy Engoulvent, Romain Guillemois, Fabrice Jeandesboz, Yannick Martinez, Maxime Mederel and Romain Sicard.
Jean-René Bernaudeau talks about the arrival of the team’s new cyclists:
Antoine Duschene: “Antoine’s freshness and talent are a perfect fit for the international character we want to give the team.”
Jimmy Engoulvent: “Jimmy will be a cornerstone of Team Europcar. He is a product of Vendée U and turned professional while he was there. His arrival should be very effective for the team, particularly in providing support for our star sprinter Bryan Coquard.”
Romain Guillemois: “Previously a pillar of Vendée U, Romain is a brilliant engineering student. This year, he has decided to move into the big league. Team Europcar is proud to welcome him to the group.”
Fabrice Jeandesboz: “Fabrice spent his final years as an amateur at Vendée U. His role this year will be to support Pierre Rolland in the difficult mountain stages.”
Maxime Mederel: “Maxime has a similar background to Fabrice and will play a decisive role in the team, especially in the mountain stages.”
Yannick Martinez: “Yannick comes from a famous cycling family and grew up in the world of cycling. I think he will surprise quite a few people with his talent. By joining Team Europcar, I hope he will find the environment conducive to showing us what he is capable of.”
Romain Sicard: “Being the Under 23 World Champion in 2009 and finishing 1st in the final overall rankings of the Tour de l’Avenir in the same year is quite an achievement! The Basque
Romain Sicard is the great find of the season. He has enormous potential and brings a real boost to Team Europcar.”