Gerry van Gerwen has finally conceded that Team Milram will not exist in 2011, but he still hopes to come back with a new team in 2012. He was not able to find a new sponsor for the five-year-old team.
"It's never fun to do. We talked to a number of sponsors for a long time. Also, we were even close to a contract, but it fell through at the last minute," van Gerwen told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
“We have even applied for a ProTour license for 2011, but we have to give up.”
He refused to consider this the absolute end, though. “"In 2011 we won't have a team, but we have invested in different contacts for later. We don't know whether it will succeed, but in 2012 the intention is to come back with a new cycling team.”
The Dutchman continues to focus on the German market but the heated discussion about doping in the sport was not helpful.
“But I've noticed that several companies might yet be interested. It takes time, but I am confident that it will manage to have one year to set a new team. "
Team Milram was formed in 2006 as an Italian team under the leadership of Gianluigi Stanga, with van Gerwen as business manager. He took the team over in 2008 and made it into a German-based team.
A number of the team's riders have already found new teams for the coming season. Gerald Ciolek and Niki Terpstra will ride for QuickStep, Christian Knees, Luke Roberts and Thomas Rohregger are going to Pegasus Sports. Linus Gerdemann and Fabian Wegmann are rumored to be going to the new Luxembourg team, with Wegmann saying he would announce his new team this week.