July 31, 2006 – T-Mobile International will, as planned, continue its sponsoring engagement, and from November this year entrust the team into the hands of a new management regime. The working relationship with Olaf Ludwig Cycling (OLC) GmbH will end on October 31 of this year. OLC will continue to direct the team in the interim. Bob Stapleton will take over as new team manager. The 48-year-old American will work together with Olaf Ludwig to ensure a smooth transfer and that all existing commitments are guaranteed in the new setup.
“Following a series of intensive discussions before and after the Tour de France, we will end our cooperation with OLC GmbH on October 31, 2006,” says Christian Frommert, director of sports communication at T-Mobile International. The determining factor was a lack of confidence in the team management, as well as many radically differing ideas on the future strategy and direction of the T-Mobile Team and the handling of the current doping problem. “The full details of the announced new setup will be communicated by the end of August at the latest,” says Frommert. Then the company will make public the identity of others, who will also assume a central role in the running of the Bonn-based cycling team.
“After 15 years of involvement in cycling, we have a high level of responsibility towards the sport”, says T-Mobile CEO, RenÃ© Obermann. For this reason the company has decided to proceed with its planned cycling engagement. T-Mobile believes that sport should be kept clean, and will actively play a role in helping restore cycling’s credibility. The goal, alongside sporting success, is to make an efficient and lasting contribution to resolving cycling’s current difficulties,” says Christian Frommert: “With the restructuring of the team we will see to it that this challenge is met both on an internal, as well as external basis.”
“We are delighted that in Bob Stapleton, we have gained a figure with 22 years of corporate management experience and the skills to direct the team”, says Obermann. The 48-year old American entrepreneur was the founder and director of the mobile communications firm Voicestream Wireless, which is now T-Mobile USA. He is also the owner of High Road Sports Inc., the company that runs the T-Mobile women’s team. The new subsidiary of High Road, Neuer StraÃŸen Sport GmbH will be based in Cologne, and will in future operate the men’s team on behalf of T-Mobile International.
“Bob Stapleton enjoys the full backing and confidence of the T-Mobile board”, says Obermann. The American has been closely involved with the team for some time and will, in his effective way, ensure that all the significant changes to the team are implemented in a smooth, timely and seamless manner.
With the recruitment of Rolf Aldag as sporting director, the T-Mobile Team has attracted a prominent personality from the world of cycling. “Rolf will oversee the team in his role as sporting director and will take responsibility for the athletes”, says future team manager Stapleton.
Aldag (37) was a Team Telekom / T-Mobile Team rider from 1993 to 2005. Since ending his pro-cycling career, the Beckum-based German has worked in sports communication for T-Mobile and also appeared as an expert and commentator during cycling broadcasts on German TV channel ZDF.