Organisers of the Bayern Rundfahrt have ended their efforts to find the €300,000 needed to keep the race afloat and have decided to pull the event from the 2016 calendar in hopes of reviving it the following year.
"It is a bitter decision after we had one of the most successful tours ever last May," race director Ewald Strohmeier said, according to Sport1.de. "In responsibility to our partners, and in particular with respect to the host cities and the teams that need to plan for the coming year, we had to make the decision now."
Strohmeier said the organisation would continue to work on building the race for 2017.
The Bayern Rundfahrt was first run in 1980, and counted among its champions Jens Voigt, Geraint Thomas, Michael Rogers, and most recently Alex Dowsett. The German professional calendar is now without a stage race, having only the Hamburg Cycleassics, Garmin Velothon Berlin, Rund um Köln and Sparkassen Münsterland Giro one-day races.
Kristof Vandewalle, 30, has decided to retire from professional cycling after failing to find a team for the 2016 season. The Belgian raced with the Trek Factory Racing team for the past two seasons, and before that was part of the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team and its team time trial world championship winning squad in 2012 and 2013.
Vandewalle was three times the Belgian national time trial champion (2012-2014), and won the overall Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen in 2013, and stages of the Tour de Pologne and Tour of Austria.
In 2015, his season was hampered by crashes and injuries and Trek chose not to renew his contract.
Cult owner hit with 1.27m tax bill
Brian Sorensen, founder of drink maker CULT and former sponsor of the Danish professional continental team, has been hit with a punitive tax bill of 9.5 million kroner, or 1.27m Euro, in a ruling yesterday. The Supreme Court of Denmark decided that Sorensen, who claimed that he lived primarily outside of Denmark and not subject to the country's taxes, had actually "stayed in Denmark to a significantly greater extent than he stated," according to Avisen.dk.
The charges date back to the tax years 2007-2009. Sorensen claimed he moved to Great Britain in 2006, but purchased a cottage in Denmark a few months later. He claimed to use the property for holidays, but it was located only a few kilometers from one of his company's headquarters.
Investigators looked at the electricity bill for the cottage and found it was higher than what would be found in a vacation property, and determined that more than half of the calls from his mobile phone were made from Denmark.
The CULT Energy team struggled this season to pay its riders' salaries, and CULT announced earlier this month it would pull its sponsorship for the coming year. The team will continue under the guise of secondary sponsor Stölting, with several prominent riders including Gerald Ciolek, Lasse Norman Hansen and Lennard Kamna.
Novo Nordisk to debut in WorldTour at 2016 Tour de Pologne
The Novo Nordisk team earned its first invitation to a WorldTour event, and will debut at the 2016 Tour de Pologne. Five wild card invitations were announced by the race organisers last week, including Bardiani CSF, Novo Nordisk, CCC Sprandi Polkowice, Verva ActiveJet, and the Polish national team.
It is an enormous achievement for the American team, which is made up of riders who all have diabetes. Team Novo Nordisk CEO and co-founder Phil Southerland was pleased with the news. "This race carries a lot of prestige and the invitation serves as another major milestone for the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team. Our riders are ready to take on this next level of racing and we're looking forward to competing against the best teams in the world. I would like to extend a special thank you to the promoters for the invite, which will help us further globalize our mission to inspire, educate and empower everyone affected by diabetes."
Southerland founded the team in 2005 with Joe Eldridge as Team Type 1, and it turned professional in 2008. In 2011, the team jumped to the Pro Continental level, and became Team Novo Nordisk in 2013.