Milram bows out of professional cycling with a whimper
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Milram bows out of professional cycling with a whimper

by Jered Gruber at 7:06 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Underachieving German team leaves the professional peloton

Saturday's finale to the 2010 race season in Como proved to be a typical day on the road for the disappointing Milram team in its final race.

Fabian Wegmann was the best of the blue-spotted German contingent in 15th, five minutes in arrears of two-time champion, Philippe Gilbert.

Team manager, Gerry van Gerwen, didn't mince his words when speaking about his team's performance at the Giro di Lombardia.

"They did not meet expectations. We had high hopes and invested heavily, but they could not perform. I do not know if the riders didn't really want it. We had realistic expectations. I'm not satisfied," said a frustrated Van Gerwen in a short interview with feltet.dk.

His words are not unfamiliar. Van Gerwen has said more or less the same thing on more than a few occasions during a 2010 season where he had set 25 wins as a target for his team yet received a meager sum of 12.

The continually under-performing team, along with the fed-up nature of Germany in regards to doping and cycling, proved a cocktail not easily overcome in the quest for a sponsor to replace Nordmilch/Milram as their sponsorship ran its course.

Van Gerwen was not able to find a replacement sponsor to continue the team into 2011, but his quest to find a new financial backer has not ended.

"We will not give up and will fight with everything we have. It is still planned that we will find a sponsor for a German team."

In fact, the infrastructure of the team will remain intact at the team's headquarters in Dortmund - the fleet of team vehicles and many other pieces of necessary pieces of equipment to run a ProTour team will not be sold - just waiting for a new sponsor to be found, so Van Gerwen can restart his team. The next time around, perhaps he'll get a team that he's satisfied with.

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