June 23, 2004
Procycling talks to QS director on Tour squad, Armstrong
Germany's ablaze today over the non-selection of Tour of Germany winner Patrik Sinkewitz for Quick Step's Tour squad. Sinkewitz, 23, followed up his victory with a 7th overall in the Tour de Suisse last week. For his part, Sinkewitz reports he had been "hopeful of riding my first Tour."
Why no Sinkewitz? Lefevere suggested it was to provide sprint specialist Tom Boonen the lead-out services of Davide Bramati:
""Patrik deserved his place, but Tom Boonen has been going marvellously all season. It was only right that we gave him some support. A rider like Bramati may not be the most talented in the peloton, but his help and experience could be very valuable to Boonen."
To the question of whether the addition of Bramati at the expense of Sinkewitz is a statement of Boonen’s intent in the green jersey competition, Lefevere refused to commit.
Lefevere also maintained that it's in Sinkewitz's best interests to wait a year, and do the Tour fresh, instead of going in somewhat weaker after 2 national tours.
On the GC, Lefevere offered up his opinion on the Armstrong-Ullrich matchup, free of the obligation to tout his team's GC contender (they don't have one):
"A lot has been made of his new girlfriend and the fact that he’s seemed more relaxed off the bike, but I think that will be offset by another factor: the book. I think that Lance is very angry, and it will be his rivals at the Tour who feel the full brunt of that anger."