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Cooke looks to Sky to help team survive

Cooke in happier times in 2008

Cooke in happier times in 2008 (Image credit: Gerry McManus)

The riders of Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung are doing all they can to ensure the future of the team, with newcomer Nicole Cooke leading the way. The Olympic champion has established contact with Sky , to see if they are interested in sponsoring the women's team.

Nürnberger Versicherung, an insurance company, announced over the summer that it would stop its sponsorship after 10 years. Shortly thereafter the team said that Skyter Shipping would take over as name sponsor. Skyter GmbH is a Bavarian-based yacht leasing firm, which then announced earlier this month that it must withdraw from the sponsoring contract, leaving the team's future in doubt.

Cooke has been in contact with Dave Brailsford, manager of the new ProTour Team Sky, with whom she has worked while riding for the British national team. Cooke, who only signed to ride for the team in October, told the Nürnberger Zeitung, “I hope we can work this out somehow. I absolutely want to ride and win races for this team.”

Team manager Herbert Oppelt said that Cooke's efforts were not the only ones made. “The girls are using all their contacts and we talk on the phone every day,” he said.

Oppelt, 60, is of course, also hard at work. “We are working here like animals,” he told the Nürnberger Nachrichten.

It has also been disclosed that the Nürnberger-Fürth prosecutors are investigating Skyter business director Michael Lindemann, the team's contact at the firm, for possible fraud, and have been for a long period of time.