The Tour de France is over, and it is time for members of the Gerolsteiner team to consider their future. While Tour stars Bernhard Kohl and Stefan Schumacher already have offers in hand, team manager Hans-Michael Holczer is still scrambling to find a new sponsor for the team.
Kohl, who finished a surprising third overall and won the King of the Mountains jersey, would rather stay with the current team, if possible. "The Gerolsteiner team is my first discussion partner," he told the Austrian website tt.com. His attorney, Siegfried Fröhlich, confirmed that, but noted that "It would have to be clear that in the future Kohl would be the team captain."
Fröhlich knows, of course, that Kohl's future is dependent on a new team sponsor. "We want to wait and see how it goes with Gerolsteiner. Something must happen by the Olympic road race." Otherwise, he doesn't really see any problem finding his client a new team. "There are five teams with which it would be worthwhile to negotiate." The Austrian is said to already have offers from Quick Step and Columbia.
Team-mate and double stage winner Schumacher is also expected to have little difficulty finding a team, and is said to have offers from Garmin and the new Russian team Katiuscha.
Meanwhile, team manager Holczer hopes to have a sponsor lined up this week before he flies to Beijing to accompany the German Olympic team. "I hope to have results by Friday, otherwise it will be hard," he told the German press agency sid. "If I want to keep this great team together, we need a quick decision." (SW)