January 19, 2004
Ullrich, T-Mobile team presented
Jan Ullrich says he's optimistic he can move up a step on the Tour de France final podium this year, on the strength of his T-Mobile team, the latest incarnation of the Telekom team that helped Ullrich win the 1997 Tour.
Ullrich is due to compete for the first time in the Tour of Murcia in March.
"If all the riders are in top form at the start of the Tour de France then we will be the main adversaries for Armstrong," added Ullrich, who returned to the team after brief stays with the financially troubled Coast team and then the Bianchi outfit for whom he raced in the 2003 Tour de France.
Alexandre Vinokourov, who finished 3rd in the 2003 Tour, seems to have ambitions of his own:
"The best rider will be the leader, and I'm ready to assume that role," Vinokourov commented. Downplaying any sense of competition within the team, he welcomed back the man who has built his career in the Telekom ranks.
"I'm happy to have Ullrich back in the team because we're good friends," Vinokourov added.
Other name riders for T-Mobile include Santiago Botero, Erik Zabel, Australia's Cadel Evans, Daniele Nardello, and Paolo Savoldelli.
For even more in-depth coverage, check out ProCycling.com's story.
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