T-Mobile team

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T-Mobile team
Team data
UCI code TMO
nationality GermanyGermany Germany (1991–2005) United States (2006–2007)
United StatesUnited States 
License UCI ProTeam
First season 1991
Last season 2007
discipline Street
Wheel manufacturer Eddy Merckx (1991–1995)
Pinarello (1996–2004)
Giant (2004–2007)
Team manager United StatesUnited States Bob Stapleton
Name story
Years Surname
Team Telekom
T-Mobile team
Jersey T-Mobile Team
Registered mail for the race around the Henninger tower in 2005.

The Team Telekom (1991-2003), later T-Mobile team (2004-2007), was a German professional cycling team based in Bonn .

The team's predecessor was Team Stuttgart , which existed until the end of 1990. From 1991 to 2003 the team competed with the sponsor Deutsche Telekom . From 2004 to 2007 it was run as Team T-Mobile, named after the mobile phone subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom T-Mobile . Successor teams from 2008 onwards were the High Road team and the Columbia-High Road team .

The team has been operated by Olaf Ludwig Cycling GmbH since the beginning of 2006 . In 2007, the multimillionaire Bob Stapleton took over the management of the team with his operating company Neue Straßen Sport GmbH , a subsidiary of High Road Sports Inc.

As the team in the 1990s, was the only major German team and employed the best German driver, the team Telekom was among the public for a long time as a kind of "German Cycling - National Team ". The greatest successes were the Tour victories of Bjarne Riis and Jan Ullrich in the Tour de France in 1996 and 1997 and the six-time winning the green jersey by Erik Zabel .

A shadow fell on the successes when the former masseur Jef D'hont accused the team of systematic doping in 2007 and several former drivers of the team - Bert Dietz , Christian Henn , Udo Bölts , Erik Zabel , Rolf Aldag , Brian Holm and Bjarne Riis - doping with EPO , cortisone and growth hormones added. As a result, T-Mobile ended its involvement in cycling in November 2007.



The Telekom team was formed in 1991 from the Stuttgart team founded by Winfried Holtmann in the late 1980s . From the later tour winner team of Riis and Ullrich only Udo Bölts was there from the beginning. After the first season, the former Belgian professional cyclist Walter Godefroot took over the post of sporting director. The team's first ever victories were Udo Bölts, who surprisingly won the royal stage of the Giro d'Italia in 1992. In July, the Telekom team took part in the Tour de France for the first time and, with Jens Heppner, was able to achieve tenth place in the overall standings.

In 1993, the third year of its existence, the Telekom team had signed most of the top German drivers. Olaf Ludwig in particular , who came from the Panasonic team , ensured victories, including the Tour de France, where he achieved the first success of the Tour stage for Telekom on the 14th stage. In October, Ludwig finished third behind the young Lance Armstrong and Miguel Induráin at the Road World Championships .

After a weak spring in 1994, Olaf Ludwig won the German classic Rund um den Henninger-Turm . In autumn Erik Zabel won the first World Cup for himself and his team at Paris-Tours .

Despite good results in the spring of 1995, Telekom was surprisingly not invited to the Tour de France. Only after negotiations was a six-person team approved together with three drivers from the Italian racing team "ZG Mobili".


Before the 1996 season, the Dane Bjarne Riis was committed, who had finished third in the tour the previous year. Riis beat the five-time winner Miguel Induráin on the tour and became the first Dane to win the tour. His team mate Jan Ullrich won the last time trial on his tour premiere and came second in the overall standings. Erik Zabel achieved two stage wins and won the green jersey . In the post-war history of the Tour, there was only one other team whose rider was able to take the first two places: “ La Vie Claire ” in 1985 and 1986 with Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond .

In Germany , the strength of the Telekom team was only really noticed a year later. After Riis started the tour as captain after a strong spring , the strong Ullrich soon took the lead in the team and in the race. The 23-year-old was the first German to win the Tour de France. Zabel again won stage wins and the sprinter jersey. The team was also ahead in the team classification. Walter Godefroot , Jan Ullrich, Bjarne Riis, Udo Bölts, Jens Heppner, Rolf Aldag, Giovanni Lombardi , Erik Zabel, Christian Henn and Georg Totschnig were honored by Federal Interior Minister Manfred Kanther with the Silver Laurel Leaf , the highest sporting award in Germany. The interest of the German public in cycling, which almost exploded after Ullrich's tour victory, made Telekom sponsorship one of the most effective in German sporting history.


After the two tour victories in 1996 and 1997, the Telekom team was one of the best teams in cycling. Telekom was able to maintain this level in the following years, despite many problems, without having to win the tour again. The team was geared towards the dual leadership with Ullrich and Zabel.

Jan Ullrich achieved second places with Telekom in the Tour of France (1998, 2000, 2001), won the Vuelta a España in 1999, the road race of the Olympic Games in Sydney 2000, the time trial World Championships in 1999 and 2001 - and yet remained behind Expectations back. Erik Zabel developed into a model of consistency, won six green jerseys on the tour in a row, won four times at Milan-San Remo (1997/98, 2000/01), the overall World Cup victory and the lead in the world rankings.


The phase of relative success was ended by Jan Ullrich's successive injury, alcohol drive and positive doping test in spring and summer 2002. Telekom finally parted with its "star" and decided - amid rumors of the end of sponsorship - to change its strategy: From now on, everything should no longer be placed on one captain, but different drivers should be given their chance. A number of international drivers such as Santiago Botero , Paolo Savoldelli and Cadel Evans were signed up , but for various reasons they could not meet the expectations.

In addition to numerous other victories, Alexander Vinokurow won two stages in the tour and reached third place overall. Three other drivers from the team each won a World Cup race.

All of these victories were pushed into the background by Jan Ullrich's successful comeback with Team Bianchi . Thereupon the management of Team Telekom negotiated with the German cyclist and, since Bianchi was unable to secure Ullrich's permanent funding, Jan Ullrich returned to Team Telekom in autumn 2003, which from then on operated under the name of the subsidiary T-Mobile.


In the first year as "T-Mobile Team" of goods World Cup success of Steffen Wesemann in the Tour of Flanders and Ullrich's victory at the de Suisse tour the prestigious victories. In addition, Erik Zabel ensured numerous second places, including a. near Milan-San Remo. At the Tour de France , Andreas Klöden and Jan Ullrich achieved the excellent places 2 and 4, which, due to the circumstances, was rated as a failure. In a season in which the conspicuous victories were rare, the "T-Mobile Team" achieved a rare triple due to its balance: The team won the team classification of the Tour de France, the World Cup and ended the season first place in the team world rankings .


At the German championship in 2005

In 2005, the winning streak broke. For the first time since 1993, the team could not win the German championship and had to surrender the title to the outsider Gerald Ciolek . At the Tour de France 2005 , the "T-Mobile Team" won the team championship. Three stage victories by Alexander Winokurow and Giuseppe Guerini as well as third place by Jan Ullrich and fifth by Alexander Vinokurow in the overall standings contributed to a positive overall result for the team.


After participating in the Giro d'Italia with a victory in the individual time trial, team captain Jan Ullrich achieved overall victory in the Tour de Suisse . However, the day before the start of the 2006 Tour de France, T-Mobile suspended its two top drivers Jan Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla as well as Ullrich's supervisor Rudy Pevenage with immediate effect, as they were involved in the doping affair surrounding the Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes . The investigation by the German public prosecutor's office against Jan Ullrich was stopped in 2008 in return for payment of a six-figure sum for charitable purposes.

Nevertheless, the seven remaining T-Mobile drivers were successful. Andreas Klöden achieved third place in the overall standings as the new captain, Matthias Kessler won the third stage of the tour , Serhij Hontschar won the two individual time trials and the team won the team standings . A better placement by Klöden and thus a possible first tour victory for him were given away by a serious tactical mistake by the team management. Favorite Floyd Landis lost several minutes to the competition due to a drop in strength ( hunger strain ) on the penultimate mountain stage and seemed beaten. Klöden was considered the best time trial and was the new favorite. But on the last mountain stage, the teams of overall leading Klöden, Carlos Sastre and Óscar Pereiro, allowed Landis to attempt to break away , in expectation that he would break in on the last mountain. Even when Landis was already driving virtually in yellow, the pursuers were still playing poker about who should do the unpleasant chase work. Landis saved most of his lead at the finish and was later able to perfect the tour victory in the decisive time trial. Since Landis was disqualified for doping on September 20, 2007, Klöden has been in second place in the 2006 Tour de France .

During the tour, the sporting director Rudy Pevenage was finally dismissed as the evidence against him in the doping scandal became increasingly overwhelming. Oscar Sevilla and Jan Ullrich were also given notice a few days before the end of the tour after they had not provided the announced proof of innocence. At the end of July, at the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg, it was announced that the main sponsor, T-Mobile, would end the cooperation with the previous operating company of the team manager Olaf Ludwig at the end of 2006 . The new team manager was the American Bob Stapleton , who had previously led the women's team at T-Mobile with his US operating company. The reason for the restructuring is said to have been the sponsor's lack of trust in the crisis management of the sports management.

The world association UCI granted T-Mobile a four-year license to Bob Stapleton on August 28, 2006 through its new operating company, Neuer Straßen Sport GmbH . A few days earlier, Andreas Klöden announced his move to Astana racing team , which in June 2006 emerged from the Liberty Seguros team, which was suspected of doping. In late summer, the obligations of sprinters Gerald Ciolek and Bernhard Eisel , as well as classic specialist Servais Knaven became known. An agreement was to be reached with Jens Voigt , but Team CSC Bjarne Riis did not give Voigt any clearance. The team left Andreas Klöden and Matthias Kessler , who switched to Astana , Steffen Wesemann and Olaf Pollack , who drove for the Wiesenhof-Felt team in 2007 , and Bernhard Kohl , who joined the Gerolsteiner team .

Successes in the ProTour
date run driver
May 18 ItalyItaly11th stage Giro d'Italia ( EZF ) GermanyGermany Jan Ullrich
18th of June SwitzerlandSwitzerland9th stage Tour de Suisse (EZF) GermanyGermany Jan Ullrich
10-18 June SwitzerlandSwitzerland Overall ranking Tour de Suisse GermanyGermany Jan Ullrich
July 4th FranceFrance3rd stage Tour de France GermanyGermany Matthias Kessler
8th of July FranceFrance7th stage Tour de France (EZF) UkraineUkraine Serhiy Honchar
22nd of July FranceFrance19th stage Tour de France (EZF) UkraineUkraine Serhiy Honchar
Successes in the Continental Circuits
date run driver
February 25 United StatesUnited States6th stage California Tour GermanyGermany Olaf Pollack
February 26th United StatesUnited States7th stage California tour GermanyGermany Olaf Pollack
26th of April GermanyGermany1st stage of the Rhineland-Palatinate tour GermanyGermany André Greipel
April 29 GermanyGermany4th stage Rhineland-Palatinate tour GermanyGermany André Greipel
31. May LuxembourgLuxembourgPrologue Tour of Luxembourg LuxembourgLuxembourg Kim churches
17th of June SpainSpain2nd stage Vuelta a Asturias SpainSpain Oscar Seville
16. – 20. June SpainSpain Overall ranking Vuelta a Asturias SpainSpain Oscar Seville
5th of August DenmarkDenmark4th stage Tour of Denmark GermanyGermany Olaf Pollack
18th of August GermanyGermany3rd stage Regio Tour AustraliaAustralia Michael Rogers
August 19th GermanyGermany4th stage Regio Tour GermanyGermany Andreas Klöden
16. – 20. August GermanyGermany Overall ranking Regio-Tour GermanyGermany Andreas Klöden
13.september GermanyGermany1st stage 3 country tour GermanyGermany Patrik Sinkewitz


After the turbulent year 2006, the team faced a major change. The team management changed for the new season, the budget was reduced and 13 new drivers joined the team. Big names were hardly to be found in the squad, it consisted of young drivers like Gerald Ciolek , Linus Gerdemann and Bernhard Eisel , mixed with veterans like Servais Knaven and Serhij Hontschar . The captain for the Tour de France was the multiple time trial world champion Michael Rogers , who had helped Andreas Klöden on the podium last year . After leaving the 8th stage, Axel Merckx was appointed the new captain.

The team announced that they want to play a pioneering role in the fight against doping. All drivers had to give their consent to hand in DNA samples if necessary .

On May 11, 2007 Serhiy Honchar was suspended for 30 days after unannounced blood tests during the Tour de Romandie. In June 2007 he was dismissed with immediate effect for "violating the team's internal code of conduct".

On July 18, 2007, the T-Mobile team announced that a doping test given by Patrik Sinkewitz on June 8 during a training camp had a positive result for testosterone in the A sample. The driver was suspended with immediate effect. After Sinkewitz decided not to check the B sample on July 31, he was dismissed by the team management.

Due to the two doping cases involving Sinkewitz and Hontschar as well as the doping incidents at the 2007 Tour de France, in which the former T-Mobile captain Alexander Vinokurow was also convicted of doping, the sponsor considered an early end of his engagement. One day before the start of the Germany Tour , however, the racing team's press spokesman announced at a specially convened press conference that T-Mobile would fulfill its contract by 2010 and that it would continue on the path it had taken for “clean cycling” during this time. The sponsor reserved the right to withdraw immediately in the event of further doping cases.

Successes in the ProTour
date run driver
11 April BelgiumBelgium Gent – ​​Wevelgem GermanyGermany Marcus Burghardt
May 22 SpainSpain2nd stage Tour of Catalonia United KingdomUnited Kingdom Mark Cavendish
May 26 SpainSpain6th stage Tour of Catalonia United KingdomUnited Kingdom Mark Cavendish
July 14th FranceFrance7th stage Tour de France GermanyGermany Linus Gerdemann
July 23 FranceFrance15th stage Tour de France LuxembourgLuxembourg Kim churches
15th of August GermanyGermany6th stage Germany Tour GermanyGermany Gerald Ciolek
August 16 GermanyGermany7th stage Germany Tour GermanyGermany Gerald Ciolek
18th of August GermanyGermany9th stage Germany Tour GermanyGermany Gerald Ciolek
August 24th BelgiumBelgiumNetherlandsNetherlandsLuxembourgLuxembourg2nd stage Eneco Tour United KingdomUnited Kingdom Mark Cavendish
September 8th SpainSpain8th stage Vuelta a España (EZF) GermanyGermany Bert Grabsch
September 14th SpainSpain13th stage Vuelta a España GermanyGermany Andreas Klier
Successes in the Continental Circuits
date run driver
February 22 PortugalPortugal2nd stage Algarve tour AustriaAustria Bernhard Eisel
April 18 BelgiumBelgium Scheldeprijs United KingdomUnited Kingdom Mark Cavendish
April 27 GermanyGermany3rd stage Lower Saxony tour GermanyGermany Gerald Ciolek
1st of May GermanyGermany Around the Henninger Tower GermanyGermany Patrik Sinkewitz
10th of May FranceFrance3rd stage Four days from Dunkirk United KingdomUnited Kingdom Mark Cavendish
May 13th FranceFrance6. Stage Four days from Dunkirk United KingdomUnited Kingdom Mark Cavendish
May 20th GermanyGermany Overall ranking of the Rhineland-Palatinate Tour GermanyGermany Gerald Ciolek
3rd of June United StatesUnited States Tom Bamford Lancaster Classic AustriaAustria Bernhard Eisel
June 7th United StatesUnited States Reading Classics AustriaAustria Bernhard Eisel
June 10th United StatesUnited States Overall rating Triple Crown AustriaAustria Bernhard Eisel
23rd June NetherlandsNetherlands4th stage of Ster Elektrotoer United KingdomUnited Kingdom Mark Cavendish
June 24th GermanyGermany German time trial championship GermanyGermany Bert Grabsch
June 26th ItalyItaly Italian time trial championship ItalyItaly Marco Pinotti 1
July 9 AustriaAustria2nd stage tour of Austria GermanyGermany Gerald Ciolek
15th of July AustriaAustria8th stage tour of Austria GermanyGermany Gerald Ciolek
July 25th GermanyGermany1st stage Saxony Tour GermanyGermany André Greipel
July 26th GermanyGermany2nd stage Saxony Tour GermanyGermany André Greipel
July 27th GermanyGermany3rd stage Saxony Tour GermanyGermany Eric Baumann
29th of July GermanyGermany5th stage Saxony Tour GermanyGermany Stephan Schreck
5th of August DenmarkDenmark6th stage Tour of Denmark United KingdomUnited Kingdom Mark Cavendish
the 9th of September United KingdomUnited KingdomPrologue Tour of Britain (EZF) United KingdomUnited Kingdom Mark Cavendish
September 10 United KingdomUnited Kingdom1st stage Tour of Britain United KingdomUnited Kingdom Mark Cavendish
September 19th GermanyGermany1st stage 3 country tour GermanyGermany Gerald Ciolek
21st September GermanyGermany3rd stage 3 country tour GermanyGermany Marcus Burghardt
September 23rd GermanyGermany5th stage 3 country tour GermanyGermany Marcus Burghardt
October 6th BelgiumBelgium FranceFrance3rd stage Circuit Franco-Belge United KingdomUnited Kingdom Mark Cavendish
1The winner, Luca Ascani , tested positive for EPO

Doping affair

In April 2007, Der Spiegel published a preprint of a book by the Belgian Jef d'Hont , who worked as a masseur for the Telekom team from 1992 to 1996, in which he accused the team of organized doping. He accused the team doctors Lothar Heinrich and Andreas Schmid from the University Clinic Freiburg , who were originally also supposed to be responsible for the team in the 2007 season, of supplying the drivers with the doping agent EPO and other performance-enhancing agents. After the molecular biologist Werner Franke filed a complaint against the two physicians on suspicion of violations of the Medicines Act and attempted bodily harm , the Freiburg public prosecutor began investigations against Schmid and Heinrich. A little later, the team management announced the end of the cooperation with the University Clinic Freiburg at the end of 2007.

On May 21, the former Telekom driver Bert Dietz confessed that he had taken the drug EPO to improve performance during his time with the team on the recommendation of the team doctors and confirmed the allegations of the former masseur Jef d'Hont.

The next day, Christian Henn , a former professional at Telekom and at that time sporting director for the Gerolsteiner team , said that he had been doping with EPO from 1995 to 1999. Henn should remain employed in the Gerolsteiner team in his current position.

After the former professionals Jens Heppner, Steffen Wesemann, Georg Totschnig and Danilo Hondo , as well as the former team boss Walter Godefroot denied that they had doped themselves or had known about organized doping in the team, confessed with Udo Bölts, who was for the team at the time Gerolsteiner, another former professional cyclist, worked doping with EPO during his time with Team Telekom. On the same day, the team doctors Lothar Heinrich and Andreas Schmid, meanwhile released from duty at the Freiburg University Clinic, announced that they had supported Team Telekom drivers with doping. Schmid pointed out, however, that this was only the case in the 1990s. The University of Freiburg responded by dismissing the two doctors without notice.

On Thursday, May 24th, the management of the T-Mobile team with team manager Bob Stapleton and head of sport Rolf Aldag reacted to these doping confessions at a press conference. Aldag also confessed to doping with EPO in the 1990s. The management stated that they wanted to continue to hold on to him as sports director. At this press conference Erik Zabel also confessed that he had been doping with EPO for a short time during the Tour de France in 1996. Shortly afterwards, the former telecom professional and current sports director at T-Mobile Brian Holm followed suit with a confession that he had also doped with EPO.

During a press conference in Copenhagen on May 25, 2007, Bjarne Riis confessed to taking EPO, growth hormone and cortisone to improve performance from 1993 to 1998 . He bought the EPO and, according to him, took it himself. His victory in the 1996 Tour de France was also influenced by the doping agent EPO, cortisone and growth substances, as Riis publicly admitted: “I know that I won the Tour with illicit means. But I still worked for it. If you want to get the yellow jersey now, please, it means nothing to me. It's in the cardboard box. "

On May 29, 2007 it was reported that Mario Kummer was said to have used doping substances between 1993 and 1997. However, this message was denied shortly afterwards.

The driver Jörg Ludewig was also suspected of doping. He is said to have tried to acquire doping substances in 1998. He admitted that he had informed himself about doping possibilities in a fax, but denied the use of doping substances.

Withdrawal of the sponsor T-Mobile in November 2007

On November 27, 2007, the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom announced that the mobile phone subsidiary T-Mobile would end its cycling activities with immediate effect. The decision affected both the men's and women's teams in Team T-Mobile. According to the press release, the contract between T-Mobile and the operating company “Neuer Straßen Sport” under the direction of Bob Stapleton was terminated by “mutual agreement”. The contract was originally supposed to run until the end of 2010. The reason given by Deutsche Telekom is that it wants to distance the T-Mobile brand from the latest doping findings in sport and especially in cycling with the move.

Bob Stapleton took over as manager of the team and received a provisional license on December 4, 2007. The team then operated under the name of the operating company of Bob Stapleton, "High Road", until June 2008. Before the Tour de France, however, a new main sponsor could be presented with the clothing manufacturer Columbia, whose name the team subsequently bore. The team received an American license and thus largely broke away from its German roots. The successor team was dissolved at the end of the 2011 season. Most recently it was named HTC Highroad .

Known former drivers


References and comments

  1. a b “Distancing ourselves and T-Mobile” on faz.net from November 27, 2007
  2. ^ Public prosecutor: "Jan Ullrich has doped" on sportschau.de from April 14, 2008 ( Memento from April 21, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  3. Sinkewitz tested positive
  4. Sinkewitz does not open the B sample
  5. Ex-masseur: Scheduled doping at Telekom ( Memento from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Radsport-News.com (Volk Media, April 29, 2007)
  6. ^ Public prosecutor is investigating T-Mobile doctors ( memento from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Radsport-News.com (Volk Media, May 2, 2007)
  7. Ex-professional Bert Dietz unpacks: Organized doping at Telekom ( Memento from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Radsport-News.com (Volk Media, May 21, 2007)
  8. Organized doping at Team Telekom: Henn also confesses ( memento from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Radsport-News.com (Volk Media, May 22, 2007)
  9. Headwind for confessions ( Memento of August 22, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) eurosport.com (Eurosport Media GmbH, May 23, 2007)
  10. Telekom celebrities unpack ( Memento from June 25, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) eurosport.com (Eurosport Media GmbH, May 24, 2007)
  11. Aldag confesses on Thursday in Bonn ( Memento from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Radsport-News.com (Volk Media, May 23, 2007)
  12. ^ Tearful confessions of the "EPO generation" ( Memento from May 5, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Radsport-News.com (Volk Media, May 24, 2007)
  13. T-Mobile sports director Holm gives EPO doping to Radsport-News.com (Volk Media, May 24, 2007)
  14. ^ ZDF.de Sport - Confusion about Mario Kummer ( Memento from October 17, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  15. sport.ARD.de - "No doping confession of grief" ( Memento from June 9, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  16. Stapleton has to update documents - High Road receives ProTour license subject to reservation December 4, 2007.
  17. Steffen Wesemann took on Swiss citizenship - simply naturalized on nzz.ch