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"Time to say goodbye"

By Monika Prell in Mainz and Susan Westemeyer

A "tour of goodbye" is how Gerolsteiner's Bernhard Kohl sees the Deutschland Tour. His team is ending as of this season, having been unable to find a new sponsor.

"The Deutschland Tour is like a tour of goodbye," Gerolsteiner's Bernhard Kohl told Cyclingnews. "Everywhere you look you see Gerolsteiner fans, many placards with the team's name, or supporter groups for individual riders. It is a nice feeling to see all those fans, but at the same time, it's sad to know that this is our last big race in Germany."

Looking to his future, the Austrian noted that he has already signed with a new team, which he will announce on Monday, September 9. "Of course we are all talking a lot about it on the team. We are all looking for a new employer, not only the riders but also the support crew. It's not that easy. In Germany there is only one ProTour team, that is not enough."

Matthias Russ of Gerolsteiner has signed with that one ProTour team, Team Milram, but wondered what will happen to the others. "The end of Gerolsteiner's sponsorship is a pity, but in the end it was not a surprise. I already signed a contract with Milram," he noted. "Milram will change a lot next year. I don't know what happens to the other riders and the support staff from Gerolsteiner. Some have got a new contract, others are still looking."

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