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June 22, 2005

T-Mobile finalizes Tour squad

T-Mobile Team | Jan Ullrich spearheads motivated team at Tour

T-Mobile has finalized their squad for the Tour de France:

Jan Ullrich
Alexandre Vinokourov
Andreas Klöden
Stephan Schreck
Daniele Nardello
Oscar Sevilla
Matthias Kessler
Tobias Steinhauser
Giuseppe Guerini

This is a very experienced Tour squad, with stage wins by Ullrich (6 in all), Vinokourov (in 2003), Guerini (in 1999), and Nardello (in 1998), and the 2001 white jersey win for Sevilla. One or another of their riders has come 2nd at the Tour 6 times since 1996, with Klöden second last year, and Ullrich won the overall in 1997. Only Schreck is making his first Tour start.

Removed from the preselection were Rolf Aldag, Sergei Ivanov, Paco Lara, and Bram Schmitz. The big surprise of the preselection was that it lacked Erik Zabel, who has won the Tour's green sprinter's jersey 6 times.

Also:

VeloNews.com | Wednesday's EuroFile: T-Mobile announces Tour roster; Bettini to miss nationals

Posted by Frank Steele on June 22, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Erik Zabel, Jan Ullrich, Top Stories | Permalink

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Comments

It only matters on the road of course, but the Discos are deeper.

Posted by: Jason O. at Jun 22, 2005 10:10:04 AM

It's more of a shame than a surprise that they left off Zabel. There'd been rumblings about it. The big surprise for me was the jab from Mario Kummer, "Erik Zabel’s ongoing hunt for the green points jersey has often been a distraction from his team’s real mission at the Tour de France." Jeez - thanks for nothing guys.

Posted by: JJ at Jun 22, 2005 11:52:14 AM

The Discos are certainly going to be more single-minded. Vinokourov is at the end of his contract, and would probably like nothing better than to jack his asking price up with a nice yellow jersey.

With Discovery, I don't think you've got anybody who feels they need a result other than "I won Lance Armstrong his 7th Tour."

Posted by: Frank at Jun 22, 2005 5:36:39 PM

I have a feeling T-Mobile is going to have to decide somewhere on the road of the TdF who they are really riding for, as Vinokourov may well prove to be their best hope for a win. Might be reminiscent of 1997, the year Ullrich exploded into the top echelon and his then-teammate Bjarne Riis generously sacrificed his own podium hopes for Jan's sake, except this time with Jan getting to know what it feels like to be the old lion. Or it could get really ugly, like with Hinault and Lemond when they were on the same squad and up-and-comer Lemond was clearly in better form. Hinault may have been a great rider but (in stark contrast to Riis) he was a right bastard.

Anyway, my fearless prediction: if a T-mobile rider winds up on the podium, it's going to be Vinokourov, rather than Ullrich.

Posted by: EWM at Jun 22, 2005 6:38:15 PM