In a significant advancement for the Parkhotel Valkenburg team and women’s cycling as a whole, global construction firm VolkerWessels has announced its intention to establish a UCI women’s team in 2024. The company is preparing to acquire the existing team from Parkhotel Valkenburg, a sponsorship move that’s anticipated to provide a much-needed boost to maintain competitiveness amidst escalating budgets within the cycling world. After securing mandatory invitations for most of the past few seasons, the Dutch team missed out for 2023 as other teams upped the ante to secure Women’s WorldTour spots.
That had a knock-on effect when the teams for the 2023 Tour de France Femmes were announced as Parkhotel Valkenburg didn’t make the cut. It came as a surprise to many as the team had been very noticeable in last year’s race through Femke Markus and Femke Gerritse both wearing the Queen of the Mountains jersey for a total of 6 days.
Parkhotel Valkenburg, a stalwart sponsor of cycling, especially women’s cycling, isn’t leaving the sport. Instead, the organisation is redirecting its resources to cultivate youth teams in the region of Limburg. In its role as a Continental team, it has helped propel the likes of Demi Vollering and Lorena Wiebes to the top of the sport and the brand will hope to inspire similar journeys from an earlier point in development.
Who are VolkerWessels?
This spring, VolkerWessels reaffirmed its commitment to fostering women’s cycling during a team presentation in Rijssen. It’s worth noting that the construction company has been sponsoring a continental men’s team for quite some time. It’s from this men’s team that cyclists like Maikel Zijlaard (now at Tudor Pro Cycling) and Bart Lemmen (now at Human Powered Health) have successfully transitioned to the professional ranks. As such, VolkerWessels’ move to sponsor a women’s team marks a promising expansion of their involvement in professional cycling.
As a company, VolkerWessels are a major European construction services business based in the Netherlands. They are currently involved in HS2 in the UK and previously helped build the FC Groningen Euroborg stadium.