This has been a tough couple of years for cycling. It seems that almost every day another cyclist is caught up in some sort of doping scandal. But through all of this I've felt more optimistic about the future of cycling than at any time in the past ten years. That was because a strong movement that has been embraced by the UCI, pro teams, organizers and many of the riders has emerged that seems to have put the dopers on the rope. But today's announcement by T-Mobile that after 16 years they are ending their sponsorship of both the men's and women's cycling teams, effective immediately (Deutsche Telekom pulls sponsorship, but the team will continue).
The teams and their sponsors, and in particular T-Mobile, CSC and Gerolsteiner, have been the driving force for much of this change. These teams have served as models that other teams are now beginning to embrace and implement. Slipstream is one example of this. T-Mobile's withdrawal is without question a victory for the dopers. What a shame for cycling and what a shame for T-Mobile. Rather than having the courage to continue down the path they started on at the beginning of this year, they have chosen the easy path. I've lost a great deal of the respect I had for them and will certainly let them know. I encourage all cycling fans to do the same.