Posted by Editor on 11/28/07
Michael Barry Comments About T-Mobile Sponsorship Withdrawal
by Matt Hansen
Canada's only ProTour rider, Michael Barry, is a member of the High Road Sports squad which yesterday had title sponsor Deutsche Telekom announce it was withdrawing from sponsoring both the men's and women's teams. Michael is currently in Toronto visiting family, and spoke with matt hansen for a few minutes about the impact of the news.
Matt Hansen: When did you learn of the news about T-Mobile?
Michael Barry: I was out riding in Toronto - on the grass fields, on my cross bike, getting a good ride in - when I received an email from [team director] Bob Stapleton on my Blackberry.
MH: What does that mean for the team, how/who is sponsoring it?
MB: Bob's management company, High Road, will be the team's name for the moment. There will be more announcements in the future. The T-Mobile sponsorship has been iffy since we began the '07 season so I think the riders, staff and management were all somewhat prepared.
MH: Is everyone guaranteed a spot for next year?
MB: Yes. The roster will remain the same from what I understand.
MH: Will it affect you in any way (pay cut or changes in program?)
MB: No, from what I understand the team will continue on as planned - we will just have different jerseys.
MH: Were you surprised by it? Disappointed? Depressed?
MB: I wasn't at all surprised, as we knew it was precarious since Honchar's suspension in May. I am saddened that they left the sport, as I really believe in the team, the mission and our goals - and it is a shame they didn't see things similarly. Cycling needs to change and Bob is a leader in pushing the sport to make that happen.
It is disappointing that T-Mobile didn't want to continue with that vision, but I am very encouraged by the fact that Bob and the management are still committed and are not giving up the battle.
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