Bora to re-open door for pro cycling in Germany?

Cooking systems company announced as new title sponsor for NetApp-Endura for the next five years

Team NetApp-Endura recce Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2013

German company Bora was announced as the new title sponsor of the NetApp-Endura team, effective from January 1,  2015, at a rest-day press conference on the Tour de France today.

The deal, that will run for five years, is the first time a German company has sponsored a German team since Milram in 2010.

German cycling fans will be hoping the deal will start a slow improvement for the sport in their country following a difficult six-year period since T-Mobile ended it's sponsorship. The telecommunications giant initially stood by its team through the doping scandals in 2006 that implicated many of it's riders, but pulled out completely (although leaving newly instated boss Bob Stapleton with a budget big enough to continue running the team for several years) at the end of 2007.

Milram remained in the peloton until 2010 when they left with a whimper and a poor palmares.

Since then German TV channel ZDR dropped its Tour de France rights deal - depriving the race of one of it's biggest European audiences - and no other broadcaster has since taken on the rights.

On the road the German fans have a lot to cheer about. The nation has won five out of ten stages this year with three wins for Marcel Kittel, and one for both Andre Greipel (stage 6) and Tony Martin (stage 9).

The Bora team (its nomenclature is yet to be confirmed) is likely to strengthen its German identity next year - NetApp is an American data storage company and Endura a Scottish clothing brand - and will remain ProContinental in 2015 and 2016. It plans to move up to WorldTour status in 2017.

 

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Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling when channel surfing in 1989 and happening across the greatest ever edition of the Tour de France. He's been a Greg LeMond fan ever since. He started racing in 1995 when moving to university in North Wales gave him more time to train and some amazing roads to train on. He raced domestically for several years, riding everything from Surrey leagues to time trials, track and even a few Premier Calendars. In 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium with the Kingsnorth International Wheelers. 


Since working for Cycling Weekly he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He can still be seen at his club's evening races through the summer but he still hasn't completed the CW5000 challenge!


SIMON IS CURRENTLY RIDING

Road bike: Pinarello K8S with Shimano Dura Ace

TT bike: Specialized Venge road bike with FFWD wheels and Easton Attack TT bars

Gravel bike: N/A

Training bike: Rourke custom hand made with Reynolds 853 steel