Jörg Jaksche won't be riding for Team Cycle Collstrop. "Our team is full," said sport manager Hilaire Van der Schueren, discarding the transfer rumour. "I really have spoken with Jaksche, but it is not yet clear when he can start racing again. For this reason a transfer is not under discussion," according to team manager Jacques Hanegraaf in Sportwereld.
Earlier this week, the German rider had indicated that he was in negotiations with the new Belgian Professional Continental team. He is currently serving a one-year suspension after having confessed to having used EPO, growth hormones and blood-doping over the course of his career.
Hanegraaf indicated that he might not be opposed to signing Jaksche, but not at this time. "Jaksche himself is in a position which a lot of other riders could be in. Because he confessed under pressure, he is all of a sudden a very large bogeyman, while other riders are untouched or do a staged confession. I simply find that hypocritical," he said.
The Belgian would also be interested in signing Andrey Kashechkin, if the former Astana rider was cleared of blood-doping charges. Hanegraaf already asked the Kazakhstan rider "how it stands with his trial. Kash is still a very talented cyclist and he should have a place in well-structured cycling. If he is cleared, then I will jump directly to sign him. Because I know that other teams will want him, too," he added.
Hanegraaf's team Cycle Collstrop came out of the ashes of team Unibet, whose sponsor bailed out of pro cycling at the end of last year. In 2003, Hanegraaf already rescued a team from disappearing after losing its sponsor: together with Jan Ullrich mentor Rudy Pevenage and the German Tour de France winner, he established Team Bianchi out of the remains of Team Coast. Unfortunately, Bianchi only subsisted for one season.
Saving the team meant a major pay cut for everyone involved, including Ullrich, who announced in early October 2003 that he would be returning to Telekom, then renamed as T-Mobile Team.
The first rumours appeared only weeks later that, without its superstar, the team would not be able to continue. Things fell apart quickly thereafter, as it was disclosed that Ullrich had not been paid since August, when he first started looking for a new employer. Nor was he the only one who was missing salaries.