By Susan Westemeyer
Team Wiesenhof-Felt has joined the ranks of teams making major changes for the 2007 season, introducing new sponsors, headquarters and many new riders. The team introduces all of the new aspects at its team presentation Tuesday in Karlsruhe, Germany.
"Wiesenhof is going into its seventh year of competition with its professional cycling team. The past seaosn was without doubt the most successful in the team's history. We hope to duplicate those successes this year, and that the 'seven-year itch' will work to our advantage," said Dr Ingo Stryck, marketing director for the sponsor Wiesenhof.
Nearly two-thirds of the team is new, 10 of 16 riders. The biggest name newcomer is Steffen Wesemann, who won the Ronde von Vlaanderen in 2004 and won the Peace Race overall title five times. He will lead the team in the Spring Classics, and the professional continental team already has invititations for the Ronde von Vlaanderen and Amstel Gold. It will also appear in the German races Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg, the Deutschland Tour, Rund um den Henninger Turm and Rund um Köln.
Wesemann is joined by former T-Mobile teammates Olaf Pollack, Jörg Ludewig, and Bas Giling. Pollack will be the team's new number one sprinter, in place of Gerald Ciolek, who took Pollack's place at T-Mobile this season.
"I'm sure that we will be able to ride along with the best, with our world-class riders and rising young talents," said Sport Director Jens Heppner. "The guys have the potential and will bring in some wins for us."
The new name co-sponsor is also the team's new bike supplier, FELT. "For the first time, we are providing a professional German team with our bikes," said Marketing Director Stefan Scheitz. "We hope for feedback from this cooperation, but on the other hand, we are also looking forward already to the successes of our top riders." Another new sponsor is the Messe Karlsruhe, the city's convention center.
The team also moved its headquarters to Karlsruhe. "Cycling and Karlsruhe go together, said mayor Harald Denecken. And for a very good reason: "Karl Drais, the inventor of the bicycle, comes from our city."
For the full roster and transfer information, see the 2007 Cyclingnews' teams database.