Team Milram’s search for a new sponsor for 2011 has thus far been unsuccessful, and team manager Gerry van Gerwen has acknowledged that the team’s existence will probably be reliant on the continued support of Milram’s parent company Nordmilch AG.
The Germain dairy concern had announced last December that while it would no longer continue as sole sponsor beyond the 2010 season, it would consider operating as a co-sponsor under certain conditions. Van Gerwen has approached a number of potential sponsors, but confirmed that no agreement has been reached yet.
“I have not given up hope. We’re carrying out a lot of discussions and all of this takes quite some time. But in Pau [on the second rest day of the Tour], we will let you know how it goes,” van Gerwen told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
However, it seems that Milram’s continued support is crucial to the survival of the project. “The only one who can help us in the short term is Milram. There are still discussions ongoing. More than that I can’t say. It’s not easy,” van Gerwen said.
Should negotiations between team and sponsor break down, Sueddeutsche Zeitung links leader Linus Gerdeman with a potential move to the new Luxembourg team headed by Brian Nygaard, whose 2011 line-up is assumed to include the Schleck brothers. Meanwhile, the paper suggests sprinter Gerald Ciolek may return to the HTC-Columbia fold, where he would replace his compatriot Andre Greipel, who is expected to leave the team.