1996 Olympic Mountain Bike Champion Bart Brentjens has entered a partnership with his team and the platform for cycling in Limburg (the most southern province of the Netherlands) for recreational sports, events, infrastructure and promotion.
What does the professional mountain bike team CST PostNL Bafang Mountain Bike Racing Team offer the platform? Quite a lot! For example, the team will give mountain bike clinics to the youth, and promote Limburg worldwide as an excellent mountain bike region at the events the team attends around the world.
The partnership was signed during the team’s first training camp in Limburg after the coronavirus lockdown in 2020. The starting point for this training camp was the Watersley Sports & Talent Park in Sittard.
“We were together with almost the entire team for the first time after a long period,” said Bart Brentjens. “It is extra nice that we were able to celebrate this with the announcement of this collaboration, of which I, as a native of Limburg, are of course proud. In this way I can contribute to further develop mountain biking in Limburg, with all the associated ambitions.”
“From recreational sports and talent development to the construction of new routes and courses. Attracting (international) mountain bike events is also an ambition. With a view to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Limburg offers additional opportunities and possibilities for mountain biking”.
Milan van Wersch, manager of Limburg Cycling is also happy with the collaboration.
“Bart is an icon in mountain bike sport, not only in Limburg, but worldwide. Bart’s commitment to numerous mountain bike initiatives in Limburg the recent years, shows his passion for the sport and the province of Limburg. I am convinced that he and his team will make a valuable contribution to achieving the goals of the Limburg Cycling Plan”.
The Limburg Cycling Foundation aims to implement the Limburg Cycling Plan and to create more cohesion in Limburg cycling. The foundation also wants to strengthen cycling in the province and contribute to the positive aspects of sport, including health, social cohesion, branding, economy
and tourism. The Limburg Cycling Foundation works together with all stakeholders who are passionate about cycling in Limburg and focuses on four elements: recreational sports, events, talent development and infrastructure.
Can we expect other partnerships with mountain bike teams?
As a commercial relationship, it does make a lot of sense. With many destinations interested in attracting tourists from their surrounding regions and further afield, using a relationship with a mountain bike team is a sure fire way to reach the right audience.
But what is the right fit? With many destinations promoting different riding options, and riding preferences changing from one country or region to another – getting the right fit of team and destination is important.
There are already existing relationships in mountain biking between teams and destinations – or even individual athletes. Emily Batty is an ambassador for Livigno, as an example. But with Brentjen’s team helping run mountain bike clinics for the youth of Limburg, this looks like a partnership that will extend beyond awareness and sponsorship to create an ongoing connection.