The Plantur Pura team has confirmed that it will be known as Fenix-Deceuninck next season as its ties to the men’s Alpecin-Deceuninck team get closer. Plantur is the women’s brand for the Alpecin shampoo but the naming sponsorship has been taken up by Fenix, who used to be name sponsors for the men’s team when they were Alpecin-Fenix. Fenix will continue to sponsor the men’s team in a smaller role. Deceuninck came on board as a men’s team sponsor in 2022, at the time citing their departure from Quickstep being related to that outfit not having a women’s team link. Subsequently, Quickstep took up a connection with AG Insurance-NXTG.
“We want to offer men and women equal opportunities. [Fenix will also sponsor the men’s team] but the focus will be on the women from 1st January. Deceuninck extends its contract with the men as name sponsor, and that is the same as the contract of the women’s team. This enables both companies to make a difference as a brand. But they are also important for us to expand our structure. This enables us to follow the ideal path, offering women and men equal opportunities at the very highest level.”Philip Roodhooft, team manager
Fenix-Deceuninck will continue to include many cyclocross riders in 2023, such as Sanne Cant, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, Puck PIeterse, Yara Kastelijn and Annemarie Worst. The team has also begun to recruit more road-focused riders, such as Evy Kuijpers, Greta Marturano and Sophie Wright. The full 2023 line-up isn’t known yet, with 2022 Belgian national champion Kim de Baat still not fully confirmed so far.
That is probably linked to the expected decision about whether the team will join the Women’s WorldTour in 2023. As the best-ranked team, having scored the most points in 2022, it should be a formality, so long as the administrative affairs are all in order. The UCI will confirm that decision on Monday 12th December 2022.