The T-Mobile team has announced that Rolf Aldag and Tobias Steinhauser plan to end their racing careers in mid-2006 and the end of 2005 respectively, but will remain with the team in other roles.
The 36-year-old Aldag will be active in the firm's cycling sponsorship activities, and from the middle of next year he will work within the team, while Steinhauser (33) will also continue to work with the team.
T-Mobile also announced one-year contract extensions for Giuseppe Guerini, Bram Schmitz, Daniele Nardello and André Korff
"We are delighted that we can continue to work closely with Rolf on this new dimension," said team manager Olaf Ludwig. "With his solid performances on the bike Rolf has been an invaluable servant to the team and to German cycling. His openness has also made him a fan favourite in pro cycling." Aldag has recently worked as a Tour de France co-commentator for Germany's ZDF TV station.
Aldag has ridden for T-Mobile since 1993, when the team was known as Telekom. His racing achievements include stage wins at the 1997 Tour de Suisse and at the 1991 and 2001 Deutschland-Tours, plus a stint in the polka-dot mountains jersey in the 2003 Tour de France, as documented in the movieHell on Wheels. In 1999 Aldag won the Bayern-Rundfahrt outright, and last year he won the Dortmund Six Day race for the seventh time.
Tobias Steinhauser's exact role in the team has yet to be determined, but Ludwig has hinted at it by saying, "his linguistic skills made him a valuable contact person for our international riders like Oscar Sevilla and Daniele Nardello, and it helped them to integrate." T-Mobile has historically struggled to get the best out of its non-German signings and it may be that Steinhauser will be responsible for improving relationships with T-Mobile riders from outside the team's heartland.