Deutsche Telekom's announcement that it would honour its sponsoring contract for the T-Mobile Teams through 2010 has met with approval around Germany, from riders to management of T-Mobile and other teams. Cyclingnews' Susan Westemeyer covers the nature of T-Mobile's renewed commitment.
"I am very pleased that T-Mobile remains a committed partner," said T-Mobile men's team manager Bob Stapleton. "We are sharing the same goals, and now we are redoubling our efforts to build a solid future for the sport."
"The challenge for us as a team is twofold to do the very best we can to be a clean and successful team; and to push for real and credible change within the sport in order to restore credibility to it," he continued. "Both of these challenges have been bigger than I could have ever possibly imagined. I think the state of the sport right now, and the events surrounding the Tour, make that clear."
When Stapleton took over last fall as general manager of the team, T-Mobile announced that it would extend its sponsorship through 2010. The "new" team prided itself on its antidoping program, but was caught by surprise this summer by Patrik Sinkewitz' positive testosterone doping test. At that point, the sponsor announced that it would have to reconsider its position.
The American noted that "This is a critical time for the sport right now. The need for change is undeniable. Change in the sport is really only possible with partners like T-Mobile. T-Mobile's long history in the sport, its credibility, its resources and the power that it has built in the sport are fundamental to create change. So I am very excited to continue the challenge with T-Mobile and wish to thank the Board and everyone who supported that decision."
Sport Director Rolf Aldag noted that the decision will allow the team to continue its work in developing young riders. "We have a young team, with athletes that have signed up for a clean and transparent programme - and wish to continue in that direction," he said on the team's website, t-mobile-team.com. "It is now our task to develop young talents Linus Gerdemann, Gerald Ciolek and Mark Cavendish and give them the best tools, coaching and environment to reach their full potential."
Read the rest of the feature here.