Holczer happy to sit out the season

Hans-Michel Holczer is not part of the professional cycling circuit for the first time in years. The German is happy to take a rest from the sport after a year that saw the end of the team he managed for 11 years.

"I simply had too many disappointments. I don't feel any interest when I hear about the Tour Down Under," he said to LaOla1.at.

Holczer had to leave the sport after he was unable to secure a sponsor to replace backer Gerolsteiner. The end of the season took a turn for the worse when his star riders, Stephen Schumacher and Bernard Kohl, tested positive for blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO) in controls examined after the Tour de France.

The 55-year-old criticised the internal testing programmes that some of the teams have introduced in the last year. "I see in these internal control systems nothing other than help in covering up. [A rider] is helped to avoid a positive sample."

He complemented Team Rabobank for its new team etiquette rules. "It's exactly right. Finally, someone was brave enough to bring a bit of discipline in the team. I can only say 'bravo.'"

Looking to his future, Holczer said that he would like to open an advisory firm even if he is worried Schumacher and Kohl have taken away from his credibility. He sees an eventual return to the sport, but only if "cycling develops the way I want it to." (SW)

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