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The German Team Gerolsteiner Retires From The Cycling Sector

By Emeli Dean

Another well-known German cycling team announced its retirement from the cycling sector. The Team Gerolsteiner is the third team that within one year retires after T-Mobile and the only in 2006 promoted Team Wiesenhof-Felt. The team’s sponsor T-Mobile which was managed by the US American Bob Stapleton announced the end of his engagement already in November 2007 after a range of doping cases.

Fortunately for the cyclists the team was not totally dissolved and now participates under the name Team Colombia. The renamed team is now sponsored by the UA American Columbia Sportswear Company that manufactures and distributes outerwear and sportswear. The Team Columbia is headquartered in the Californian City of San Luis Obispo. Columbia Sportswear began sponsoring the team in July 2008 with the first race of the Tour de France. The sponsoring contract is made for a preliminary three-year period. Manager of the team will remain the US American Bob Stapleton. There are still eight German cyclists starting for the now American team, among others the currently best German cyclist of the team Andre Greipel who won the tenth Tour Down Under this year. This tour is a race beyond Europe but counts towards the UCI ProTour.

Unfortunately the Team Gerolsteiner didn’t have that much luck finding another sponsor. Hans-Michael Holczer is the team’s chief since the foundation in 1998. He is searching in vain for a successor of the mineral water company Gerolsteiner. For this reason unfortunately he had to announce the fold of the team at the end of this year. The 54-year-old Holczer is as well manager of a cycle shop and still has a little bit of hope. At a press statement he advertised that if anybody should ever have the intention to be a main sponsor of a big professional cycle team they could come to him and he would be more than glad to offer his advice and help for the realization.

Some of the cyclist of the team already got in touch with new teams. Gerolsteiner's top riders are amongst others Bernhard Kohl from Austria and Stefan Schumacher from Germany, who won the fourth stage of this year’s Tour de France and could take over the Yellow Jersey of the overall leader. As first and so far the German cyclist Jan Ullrich was able to achieve the overall victory at the Tour de France in 1997.

Now we are standing again at the beginning of the German cycling section just as 1991 when the first German cycling team was founded with the Team Telekom which now is known Team Columbia. The professional cycling team Milram exists since the beginning of 2006 and is sponsored by the Nordic milk concern Milram Corporation. The 38-year-old German cyclist Erik Zabel is currently the captain of the team.

Apparently three cyclists (Johannes Fröhlinger, Matthias Ruß and Fabian Wegmann) already signed a new contract with the Team Milram and it seems like sports director Christian Henn will switch to the “Milkmen” as well. Next to Linus Gerdemann, Gerald Ciolek, the brothers Markus und Thomas Fothen the Milram team chief van Gerwen might also be interested in Stefan Schumacher.

The young team wants to take the chance and make a fresh start with the best German cyclist to bring back glamour, interest and a good reputation to the German cycling section. Van Gerwen said: “This will be a team which my heart will be clung to.”

About the Author

Emeli Dean is a high-ranking writer on cycling news for the sports betting industry. Feel free to reprint this article in its whole on your site, make sure to leave all links in place and do not modify any of the content.