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Veteran sport director Rolf Aldag is joining Canyon-SRAM, the team has announced.
The 51-year-old German, who spent more than a decade racing in the pro peloton, has worked in staff roles with various teams since hanging up the wheels. After stints at the HTC Highroad and Quick-Step organizations, he was head of performance with Dimension Data for the past four seasons, with 2019 marking his final year with the squad.
Aldag’s departure from the team was describe as an “entirely amicable step” in a team press release, but it came after a public disagreement this summer over the exclusion of Mark Cavendish from the squad’s Tour de France roster, with Aldag wanting to include the Manx sprinter but team manager Doug Ryder deciding to leave Cavendish out.
The move to Canyon-Sram marks Aldag’s first venture into a DS role for a women’s team.
“First of all, I would describe myself as a rookie in what I am going to do,” Aldag said via the team’s announcement. “I don’t think it would be wise to believe I should come on board and try to copy and paste things that worked in the men’s sport. So I will talk to all of the experienced team members from Canyon-SRAM and aim to get the best information out there,” explained Rolf.
At Canyon-SRAM, Aldag is re-united with Ronny Lauke, Canyon-Sram’s team manager. The pair worked together over a decade ago at HTC HighRoad.
“I wouldn’t say that I am nervous about joining a new team, but rather I have a feeling of excitement to enter a new chapter in my working career. Especially, because it will be filled with some tasks that I haven’t done before,” Aldag said.
Aldag has already begun working with his new team – one of eight women’s squads to apply for WorldTour status next season – at Canyon-SRAM’s training camp in Spain.