BigMat, a French hardware chain that sponsored a team that made it into the Tour de France in the 1990s, is close to a deal to link up with FDJeux for the 2012 season.
That’s according to L’Equipe, which reports Friday that the new money could help Francaise des Jeux regain a spot in the WorldTour.
According to the report, the deal could be worth 3 million euros per season for the French outfit. Coupled with the 9 million it receives from the French lottery, team manager Marc Madiot would have money to sign some better riders.
L’Equipe also reported that BigMat was close to joining Garmin-Cervélo as a co-sponsor for 2012, but has since opted to join forces with Madiot.
BigMat-Auber 93 will remain a third division, Continental team.
FDJ is in the running for a ProTeam license for next season. The squad did not make it into the top-15 in a UCI list revealed this week of teams bucking for WorldTour status, but it still has a good shot at earning one of the 18 spots in the elite team league.