The T-Mobile Team is looking to a clean and fair sport, and wants to take a leading role in providing it. And to do so, they have come up with their own new beginning, changing virtually everything within the team, from management on down. A new general manager, a new sport manager, 11 new riders - they are all combining to become what new general manager Bob Stapleton hopes will be "the best cycling team in the world and eventually the best sports franchise in the world," he announced Wednesday, September 27 at a press conference in Bonn, Germany. Cyclingnews' Susan Westemeyer reports.
Those eleven new riders are a combination of young and old, and a real international mix, coming from nine different countries. They join 16 riders remaining from the 2006 squad, from six different countries. There are still three places left up for grabs.
The "new" team almost didn't come to be. T-Mobile Chief Finance Thomas Winkler admitted that the company seriously considered dropping its sponsorship of the team after the revelations before the Tour de France of Jan Ullrich's implication in the Fuentes doping case. "But after 15 years of involvement with the sport, you don't just throw your sponsorship away. We, as the management of T-Mobile Corporation, believe in cycling and we believe in the image of clean cycling." To prove this, it has extended its contract for an additional two years, through 2010. Winkler said that the firm has full trust in Bob Stapleton, whom the company has known for six years. And Aldag, the new Director of Sport Management, "stands for everything that you should stand for in cycling."
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