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Pushing for reform

Stapleton and 24 year old Linus Gerdemann

Stapleton and 24 year old Linus Gerdemann (Image credit: Shane Stokes/Cyclingnews)

By Shane Stokes and Brecht Decaluwé

T-Mobile's Bob Stapleton has been one of the most outspoken managers in the business about the need to eliminate drug use in the peloton, and has been greatly motivated by Linus Gerdemann's stage win and spell in the yellow jersey. Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes spoke to the Californian at length before the start of the Tour, while Brecht Decaluwé caught up with him after Gerdemann's success.

Whatever happens during the rest of the race, Linus Gerdemann's victory in Le Grand-Bornand was an important moment for cycling and the 2007 Tour de France. At the end of last season sweeping changes were made to the structure and lineup of the T-Mobile team, with a revised team roster, new look management, a considerably reinforced code of ethics and strict, innovative internal testing all being introduced.

In that light, Linus Gerdemann's success on stage seven would appear to be a big plus for the sport. One of the first things the 24 year old German rider said after the finish was that this represented a new start for cycling. He'd just scooped the stage victory, the maillot jaune, the white jersey and the most aggressive rider award thanks to his efforts during the day and, as David Millar pointed out, this was the sign of a cleaner generation coming through.

General manager Bob Stapleton has been behind many of the changes in the team. The 49 year old Californian is a highly successful businessman who began his relationship with the T-Mobile sponsor back in 2000 when it bought his communications company VoiceStream Wireless for $50 billion.

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