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Women's squad Equipe Noris Cycling has had to accept another blow this season, with sport director Jochen Dornbusch leaving the team to become a coach for the Hong Kong national team.
The team was formerly the Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung. The German insurance company ended its sponsorship at the end of last season, after 10 years. A new sponsor was found, Skyter Shipping, but pulled out of the deal at the last minute.
Team managers Herbert and Alexander Oppelt have continued the team on a minimal budget supplied by minor sponsors and suppliers. Many of the riders received only a minimal, if any, salary.
“In light of the precarious situation which Skyter manoeuvred us into, Jochen Dornbusch's decision is not a surprise,” said Herbert Oppelt.
“We had a good and successful time together at the team,” Dornbusch said. “Despite all the fallout from the loss of our replacement sponsor and all the difficulties that brought, the squad is doing well this year. My decision is based on the perspective of finding a new challenge on the international level.”
Dornbusch, 53, first joined the team for the 2009 season, and before that was a coach of the German national women's team. He will coach the men in Hong Kong.
His last race for Noris will be the world cup race on June 6, and he will start his new job on July 1. A team spokesman told Cyclingnews that the team will seek a replacement for Dornbusch, and that the Oppelts are already meeting with potential candidates.