Cycling Team Gerolsteiner

1998 - 2002 Formation and rising

Team Gerolsteiner achieved a total of 250 victories during the ten years of its existence. The team, which at first was managed by Dieter Koslar, evolved from the cycling club PSV Cologne in 1998. In 1999 Gerolsteiner had Hans-Michael Holczer take over the sporting management. Team Gerolsteiner's personnel was almost completely replaced.

Targets were ambitious. The team was to establish itself amongst the best in German cycling sports within four years. Things went even better than projected. The team was already among the top ten professional cycling teams in the world by 2002, winning a total of 33 season victories and taking part in the Giro d'Italia. This advancement to top-club status meant nothing less than a qualification for the Tour de France.

2002 - 2005 Tour de France

Now it was time to tackle the next hurdle in German and international cycling: making the change from being a challenger to be taken seriously to actually being an opponent seen as equal. During its Tour de France premiere 2003 the team first had to do a little learning the hard way. But only a year later the riders successfully held their own: Davide Rebellin was the first ever rider to win all three of the difficult Ardennes classics Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallone and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Fabian Wegmann was the first German rider to grab hold of the mountain jersey during the Giro d´Italia. And the entire team delivered a most convincing team performance during the Tour de France.

With the first Tour de France stage victory as well as 1st and 3rd rank in the Tour of Germany in 2005, Hans-Michael Holczer's team laid serious claim to taking on the leading role in German cycling sports and to once and for all establish itself on an international level.

2005 - 2008 Success and ending

41 season victories, achieved by 14 different riders – thus the overall result in 2006, the most successful season in the Team's history. Fabian Wegmann perfected this result in 2007 by winning the German Championship. 

In 2008 Team Gerolsteiner was not only able to add further victories to its CV – amongst them the defense of the German Championship title by Fabian Wegmann and Davide Rebellin's silver medal in the Olympic Summer Games – Team communications also had a real highlight in store: Gerolsteiner developed a new kind of TV format with its “real time spots”. Every day a new 20-second-spot broadcast prior to the eight o'clock news on ARD documented the Tour de Fance from Team Gerolsteiner's point of view. In late 2008 Gerolsteiner ended its involvement in cycling sports prior to the season's finale due to the misconduct of certain riders during the Tour de France. 

Cycling sports sponsoring turned Gerolsteiner into something one could experience. It thus aided in creating an emotional connotation of the brand. The popularity of Gerolsteiner was raised in Germany, and the mineral water from the Volcanic Eifel managed to achieve a higher profile internationally due to cycling sports.