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Gerolsteiner team's fate to be known before Tour

The Gerolsteiner team should find out if it will gain a new sponsor for the 2009 season in June, manager Hans-Michael Holczer said on Friday. "We will know what will happen in four to six weeks, in any case before the Tour de France," Holczer said to the German news agency sid.

The company announced it would not extend the sponsorship of the cycling team last September, ending the involvement of the bottled water maker which began in 1998. Holczer has been actively seeking a replacement, and indicated he has two German companies in talks.

"The decision is now in the hands of the leadership of both companies," said Holczer. The team's estimated annual budget is eight million euros.

The Milram squad is the only German ProTour team left in the peloton after T-Mobile pulled out as a sponsor and the cycling team, re-branded as Team High Road, changed its country of license to the United States. While the T-Mobile sponsorship ended as a direct consequence of multiple doping scandals, the Gerolsteiner company insisted that doping was not the main reason that it did not renew its support.

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