The second rest day of the Tour de France – July 18 – is the day of reckoning for HTC-Highroad, according to team manager Rolf Aldag. The team and riders must know by then if a sponsor has been found for the coming year.
"On the second rest day of the Tour de France, we must be told,” he told the dpa news agency. “Big companies have shown interest, and also HTC has not yet said no.”
Team owner Bob Stapleton said last week that if no sponsor was found by the end of the Tour, “we will have to sit down and start considering how to wind down operations.”
The uncertainty of the team's future presents a problem for the riders, who must look somewhere for a contract for the coming season. “I would like to stay, but I am getting contacted by other teams,” Tony Martin said.
"On the one hand, you have loyalty to your team, but on the other hand, you want security for the next years,” he pointed out.
Aldag doesn't like the situation but empathizes with the riders. “We understand that careers are hanging on this decision.”