Team Cult Energy-Stölting Group have announced the signing of German sprinter Gerald Ciolek for the 2016 season. A former winner of Milan-San Remo, Ciolek was without a contract for next year after failing to secure a new deal with his current team MTN-Qhubeka.
"The Team Cult Energy Stölting group signs Gerald Ciolek for 2016," read a brief statement on the team's Facebook page.
The move to the Danish team will reunite him with directeur sportif Jochen Hahn, whom he worked with at his first professional team, Team Akud Arnolds Sicherheit, and more recently Team Milram. "This is an exciting addition," said Hahn. "Ten years ago I was able to celebrate some great success with Gerald."
Ciolek is a former under 23 world road race champion and German national champion. He turned professional in 2005 and has ridden for T-Mobile, Milram and QuickStep. He joined the MTN-Qhubeka team in 2013 and immediately found success when he claimed a surprise victory at Milan-San Remo ahead of Peter Sagan and Fabian Cancellara. He went on to take a further four wins that year but has taken just one victory in the two years following it - at the 2014 Vuelta a Andalucia.
Team Cult Energy very nearly folded but were saved by investment from the Stölting Group. Along with Ciolek, they have secured the services of Olympic omnium champion Lasse Norman Hansen and Tour de l’Avenir stage winner Mads Pedersen. They have also extended with experienced riders Fabian Weggmann and Linus Gerdemann.