T Mobile – Clean Team 2007
The new broom sweeps clean. A look at the 11 new riders, in the famous magenta squad for 2007
New head of sport management Rolf Aldag has built a team for 2007 which will be guided by the team’s commitment to fair sport and Aldag’s competitive sporting spirit.
In building the foundation of a ”team for the future“, Aldag stresses the importance of the riders’ strength of character as well as their athletic potential. “We need riders with a good heart, a good head and good legs who will work well together as a team“, says Aldag, who on Wednesday announced the addition of eleven new riders to the team.
“The team lies at the core. We want a team of characters, to create a community, in which each single rider is there for each other and takes over responsibility. Sure, we lack the real big names. That’s why it would be presumptuous to believe 2007 could be our most successful season. But for us it’s not only about success. We want to ride on the offensive, to enthuse the fans, to learn from defeats. And our motto is to gain our achievements in a clean way. There will be no diverging to the right or left, there’s only straight path to follow. Every rider who signs with us, has to be aware what he’s signing. There will be no deception any more. The riders will be checked inside out by us and run through all the tests.”
So who are the new recruits who will help Aldag realise his dream,
Joining the squad for 2007 are Michael Barry (30/Canada), Mark Cavendish (21/Great Britain), Gerald Ciolek (20/Germany), Bernhard Eisel (25/Austria), Bert Grabsch (30/Germany), Roger Hammond (31/Great Britain), Servais Knaven (35/Netherlands), Axel Merckx (34/Belgium), Aaron Olsen (28/USA), Jacob Piil (33/Denmark) and Marco Pinotti (30/Italy).
Michael Barry gave this summing up of his move to T Mobile – “ I have spent five great years with the organization, first with US Postal and now with Discovery, and have many fond memories — enough to fill at least one book. With the team I grew as an athlete and found my place in the European professional peloton. Next season I will race with T-Mobile; it is a new environment with new challenges and opportunities. T-Mobile is a team in transition and I am excited to be a part of their new generation. With that said, I will greatly miss many of the riders and staff with the DiscoveryTeam.”
Barry is a very soild Pro, who was a member of the Savoldelli Team which won the Giro d’Italia, but he is more familiar to European fans for his races in the Vuelta .
Mark Cavendish, is from the Isle of Man and was born on 21 May 1985. He made an awesome early reputation on the track competing in the Madison, Points race,and Scratch Race . In 2005 he won a Gold medal in the madison event at the World Track Championships 2005 with Rob Hayles. The pair finished one lap ahead of the field to claim the 200-lap race, ahead of the Dutch and Belgian teams.
Mark was only taken to Los Angeles to get some senior experience and the two had not raced together before.
Cavendish has been part of T-Mobile’s Development Programme since 2005, and has progessed through the ranks. The Manx-born rider has a growing reputation as a fearless sprinter who can also hold his own when the road goes up.
Gerald Ciolek first stepped into the limelight in 2005 when he outfoxed the cream of the crop of Germany pro cyclists to win the men’s road race at the national championships at the tender age of 18. This season saw him take a stage of the Deutschland-Tour, become runner-up at the "Rund um den Henninger Turm" classic and place fifth at the Hamburger Cyclassics.
He then went on to win the U23 Road race in fine style, and noone doubts the huge potential and talent of this young rider.
Courtesy of Unipublic
Bernhard Eisel is still only 25 but seems to have been around for a long time. With 14 victories to his name, he is a rider who could fill his untapped potential at T Mobile
"Naturally I am very happy to take up the challenge to ride for one of the best professional teams in the world. It is also important to me that T Mobile is openly and consistently tackling the problem of performance drugs which have troubled our sport. That is very important to me” he said on joining the Team .
Bert Grabsch, 9 years a professional, and 4 victories do not reflect this riders aggressive and determined style –
Grabsch is very pleased with his new team - “Next season, a new page in my professional career begins.I will ride for T Mobile for the next two years. I am very pleased about this. We have a balanced team with a lot of potential. The mixture of young talented riders and experience should, in my opinion do very well. At this time it is right to give thanks to my present team Phonak. Here I had the chance to ride at the highest level, to ride in the Tour de France or Vuelta is a great experience. Special thanks to Andy Riis, who has run the Team over the years with great energy”
Courtesy of Dave o’Nyons
Roger Hammond burst onto the scene winning the Junior World Cyclo Cross championships in Roundhay Park Leeds. He then rode in Belgium, gradually building up a fearsome reputation as a hard man, one day racer which culminated in third spot in Paris Roubaix in 2004.
His move to Discovery Channel seemed to be blighted by misfortune, with crashes and injuries always striking at the wrong moment. Hammond has been at his best during the “Discovery years” while riding for the Great Britain Team in the Tour of Britain, clearly he enjoys working with younger riders and he has also gained two impressive stage wins in the race as well.
Servais Knaven the winner of the 2001 Paris Roubaix is a very experienced rider who has been professional since 1994. His great asset to any team is his great team spirit and commitment to the cause, and he is a rider that has contributed a great deal to the victories of rides like Johan Museeuw in the past.
Axel Merckx has been tempted out of retirement thoughts to join the T Mobile Team for 2007. Since turning professional in 1994 Axel Merckx has built a reputation over the years, which has given the bronze medallist in the Olympic Games his own status devoid of his father’s shadow. He has ridden 7 Tours, and his experience and his ability as a Team rider were plain to see in this tears Alpe d’Huez stage of the race. On his day, a very exciting rider, many fans will be pleased to see that Axel, has decided to race on into 2007 with the magenta squad.
Aaron Olsen could be described as the forgotten man of USA cycling, Olsen , who has been cycling since 1992, was one of America's top junior cyclists claiming the national team pursuit crown in 1996 and finishing on the podium in national road and track events. He joined the United States National Team as a junior in 1995 and represented his country at the Junior World Championships in 1996.
"In 1997 the "espoir" (Under 23) category arrived which wasn't great for me as I was only 19 at the time and there were a lot of older American riders with claims on National Team places." In an effort to work his way back to representative honours Olsen moved to Spain to race which he admits was not a great success.
"Basically I spent too much money, got sick, had no team and came home," he said. But despite the bad experience he perservered and in 1998 raced in France with a team in Limousin. "This was a much better move and I really enjoyed the season," he explained. "I won a time trial (Boucels Gouzzaines) and secured a lot of top five placings." His efforts were rewarded when in 1999 he was invited back on the US National Team.
"We lived in Belgium for most of the next two years and started in some really hard races including the Tour of Flanders and Liege-Bastogne-Liege." In the 1999 Tour de l'Avenir placed second in the time trial stage, the highest placed amateur and only two seconds behind the reigning world Under 23 champion, Thor Husvold.
Since then he has gradually built a career and reputation which was highlighted this year by his stoic ride in the Giro for Gilberto Simoni, and a quite flambouyant ride throughout the Tour of Poland, which impressed anyone privileged to watch.
Jacob Piil experianced, and a great team rider. The last time I saw Jacob was in the Tour of Britain, in August 2006. It was windy, wet and the riders were crossing a dank Yorkshire moor, the sort Cathy used to run across to find Heathcliffe. Piil was off the front group by about a minute, but was riding like a mad man to stay in touch.
Piil, who has had a very good career, has always shown flashes of brilliance. Maybe with a new motivation of the Mobile team he can finally blossom?
Marco Pinotti is good against the clock and is an intelligent rider, His website diary for the infamous stage 17 (due to bad weather the final ascent of the day was scrapped )of this years Giro d’Italia notes-
"At the start looking at the bikes you could have noticed the rear wheels with the low gears where for the final ascent. They looked more like mountainbikes than road ones. So unusual. The problem was no one knew which gear or solution was better since no one has had the chance to test the final 5 km, because the road has always been "unavailable". And considering how things
went, nobody will ever know.
The organizers reported us the decision with 40 kms to go, while we knew since a couple of minutes after our departure we weren't go up to the top of the Passo delle Erbe. This was a wise decision, since we were supposed to go down all wet in a cold weather: we certainly
were going to freeze. As long as you climb, you stay warm, but as suddenly as you go down the top, you start to shiver.
There is no technical wear, no ice proof texture or whatever, when it rains as much as yesterday and the temperature is below 10 Celsius, you freeze. I worked a lot in the stage, but Leonardo paid it back. I'm pretty satisfied about my performance on the climb, It was
good for the team GC. Further It took us almost more time to go down by bus than go
up by bike, because of the traffic and the confusion. Isn't it ironic?
Moreover it stopped raining right after we arrived!
Not long ago T Mobile Team declared its ambition to be the number one team in the world. However for the last couple of years they have failed to be the number one team in Germany , and to be frank, some of their efforts in races has seemed half hearted and misdirected.
No matter the new broom sweeps clean.
T Mobile with their code of conduct and new management team have set the clock back to zero, while getting assurance of sponsorship for the until 2010.
With the multi national new signings , and the new management, it is new horizons for the magenta squad.
One thing is certain, with Rolf Aldag, we will see the same sort of commitment to races in the team as his former Captain Riis has demonstrated with his CSC Team.