By Susan Westemeyer
There will be a third German women's team in 2007: Team Getränke Hoffman. "We want to be a real challenge to Equipe Nürnberger and T-Mobile," said team manager Torsten Wittig. The sponsor, who has signed up for two years, operates a chain of 180 beverage stores in the Berlin area and is owned by Dr. Oetker, the international food conglomerate.
The 14 riders on the team are a combination of road, cross and mountain bike racers. The team's first goal is a world cup medal in the beginning of 2007 with Birgit Hollman. Two highlights for the team in the upcoming season will be the premiere Berlin-Capital-Ride, a 135 km road race in and around the German capital on June 10, and the world championships in Stuttgart. "Four of the riders from our team should take part in the road world championships in Stuttgart next year," Wittig told the Märkische Allgemeine.
Wittig has managed to claim a big name from the Berlin cycling scene to help his team -- his friend, Jens Voigt. The Deutschland Tour winner will be "official promoter" for the team, and will conduct training rides with the women.
The team has 14 riders under contract, and "an additional internationally-known rider is supposed to be added." The team so far: Sabine Spitz, Tina Liebig, Theresa Senff, Virginia Hennig, Birgit Hollmann, Angela Brodtka, Stefanie Pohl (all from Germany), and Nathalie Bates, Australia.