Hans-Michael Holczer has returned to cycling as General Manger of Team Katusha. The former Gerolsteiner manager takes the place of Andrei Tchmil, and sees it as his job to promote Russian cycling.
Holczer, 57, was the manager of Team Gerolsteiner from 1998 to 2008. He was presented to the public in his new job Thursday at a press conference in Moscow.
He will be responsible for four teams: the pro Katusha Team, a Continental team, a Under 23 team and a Under 21 team. Together they make up the “Global Russian Cycling Project”.
“The fascination and the possibilities of this offer were simply too big,” he told the Frankfurter Rundschau. “The team has a much higher budget than Gerolsteiner ever had and my role is totally different.”
Holczer, who signed a three-year contract, took with him former Gerolsteiner colleagues Christian Henn and Michael Rich.
He emphasised that he will continue his “zero tolerance” anti-doping policy. “We must not tolerate doping in any way or form, must not put up with it and in no way can we legalize it. But we must cope with the theme of doping in all sports.”
After the end of the Gerolsteiner team, he never gave up hope of returning to the sport, “but only with a big team.” And he indeed find a big team, as he sees his responsibilities extending beyond the four teams under him.
“My job at Katusha will be primarily to serve Russian cycling. The goals are clearly defined: the Olympic games, world championships, Universiade. We should have successes there, either on the road or on the track. The Tour de France is also important, but doesn't occupy the same position here as it does in Germany.”