June 06, 2004
Boonen stage, Sinkewitz GC at Tour of Germany; Ullrich 7th
Patrik Sinkewitz, the 23-year-old German from QuickStep-Davitamon, took the biggest win of his career Sunday, as his teammate Tom Boonen took a sprint win at the Tour of Germany.
Jan Ullrich finished 7th overall, 59 seconds back, as he prepares for the Tour de France. Ullrich spent a lot of the race working to try to place teammate Erik Zabel in a sprint, but to no avail: Zabel had his first German tour without a stage win, as Tom Boonen took 2 sprint stages, and Danilo Hondo took the blue sprinter's jersey. T-Mobile had to content itself with the overall team prize in the tour, as they couldn't muster a win in the 7-stage race.
The 30-year-old T-Mobile rider -- racked by allegations of a lacklustre preparation for the Tour de France -- considered himself "happy" with his Tour of Germany performance, a sentiment not necessarily whole-heartedly shared by his team director Mario Kummer.
"We have a bit of time to prepare for the Tour de France. We managed to find some harmony here and I think we can build on that," Kummer said cryptically, implying there may be some road left to hoe for Ullrich's Tour ambitions.
Ullrich will race the Tour of Switzerland and the German national championships between now and the Tour de France.
At just 23 years old, Sinkewitz is the German media’s new darling, and now many people’s tip to win the white jersey of best young rider in this July’s Tour de France – if he gets selected by Quick Step to ride, which surely now he must.