Schumacher linked to CCC Polsat

Could German be back in WorldTour by 2016?

Following the possible demise of the Christian Watches squad, German Stefan Schumacher is reportedly moving to the Polish CCC Polsat Polkowice team, to be known as CCC Sprandi Polkowice in 2015. The Polish team is, according to naszosie.pl, seeking to raise its image ahead of a bid for the WorldTour in 2016.

Schumacher would not confirm his new team to the Danish paper Ekstra Bladet, but said he would be moving to a Pro Continental team, and not renewing with Christina Watches, which was reportedly shutting down after sponsors Christina and Claus Hembo decided to move their support to the FCM Handball team.

"I am grateful to Claus Hembo and Michael Rasmussen, who gave me the chance to keep my career going, but now I have the chance to get back in the professional peloton, and it's a chance I must take," Schumacher said to Ekstra Bladet.

Schumacher, now 33 years old, made a rapid rise to the top of the sport in 2006 when he signed with the Gerolsteiner team from the division II outfit Shimano-Memory Corp. He won two stages in the Giro d'Italia in his first year in the ProTour ranks and led the race for two stages.

In his second year with Gerolsteiner in 2007 he won the Amstel Gold Race and finished third in the world championship road race in Stuttgart. The next year he won both time trials in the Tour de France and wore the race's yellow jersey. However, his career took a rapid nose-dive when in 2008 he tested positive for a newly-detectable type of EPO called CERA, in retroactive analysis of the Tour de France samples. The resulting doping ban stripped him of those results. He eventually confessed to doping after losing an appeal to CAS.

Since then he's raced at the Continental level, first for Miche-Guerciotti and then Christina Watches, racking up minor victories such as stage wins in the Azerbaijan Tour, the overall Tour de Serbie and Tour of China, and this year stage wins in the Szlakiem Grodow Piastowskich and Tour de Beauce.

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