Garmin Becomes New Title Sponsor of Slipstream-Chipotle Cycling Team

It looks like professional cycling is experiencing a bit of a revival.

Earlier today, Velonews reported that Garmin has become the title sponsor of the Slipstream-Chipotle Cycling Team. The Garmin logo will reportedly debut on the team's uniforms at an event in Brest, France on July 3 prior to the Grand Depart of the 2008 Tour de France.

This is exactly the kind of sponsor that an American pro cycling team should have going forward. Lots of people I know have Garmin GPS navigation systems in their cars, and Garmin's fitness computers have been state-of-the-art ever since products like the Garmin Forerunner 201 debuted about four years ago.

It's interesting to see the evolution of the Garmin-Chipotle Cycling team since its inception. It was originally sponsored by TIAA-CREF, lost that sponsorship at the end of 2006, and has been primarily funded by investors in the team since then. It's had a number of secondary sponsors including Chipotle, H3O (a sports marketing company partly owned by George Hincapie), and Felt Bicycles. Garmin started out as a secondary sponsor and has now made a primary sponsorship commitment to the team through 2010.

This is great news for international cycling, and should be especially encouraging when combined with the announcement of the sponsorship of High Road Cycling by Columbia Sportswear Company a couple of days ago.