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Tour de France: T-Mobile Team Announced
 
By Staff
Date: 6/29/2007
Tour de France: T-Mobile Team Announced
 

Tour de France: T-Mobile Team Announced
T-Mobile Team announces nine magenta warriors for the tour roster. Mick Rogers to lead the "balanced team" with G.C. ambitions.

Michael Rogers to captain the magenta team in France
The T-Mobile Team has selected its nine-man roster for the Tour de France - with the team’s GC ambitions centred around Michael Rogers. Joining him in London on July 7th will be Marcus Burghardt, Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel, Linus Gerdemann, Giuseppe Guerini, Kim Kirchen, Axel Merckx and Patrik Sinkewitz.

A question mark still hangs over the fitness of Giuseppe Guerini, however. The Italian recently abandoned the Tour de Suisse with stomach problems. He will now use his national championships on Sunday to test his fitness. A final decision will be taken early next week. Germany’s Bert Grabsch is waiting as first replacement should Guerini miss the cut.

Commenting on the overall shape of the team, general manager Bob Stapleton says: “We believe we are sending a very balanced team. We have guys who are strong in the mountains and overall GC riders circled around Rogers. That’s Sinkewitz, Gerdeman and Merckx. We have breakaway specialists and we have sprinters.” After taking tenth place overall from a supporting role at last year’s Tour, Rogers is ready to step up to the role of team captain. "The Tour is the hardest race of all in my books. Every stage is raced like a one-day world cup race,” says the 27 year-old Mick Rogers. "I hope it goes well. I have trained my hardest and prepared the best I can. I hope to finish in the top 5.”

Three Tour rookies: Burghardt, Cavendish and Gerdemann
In a very fresh and young race roster three rookies will be getting their first taste of Tour action: “We are sending a very capable team with a lot of young guys,” says Stapleton. “The bulk of the team is 26 years or younger, there are a couple of veterans but overall it is quite a young team going to the Tour.”

Head of sports management Rolf Aldag is wary of putting the rookies under too much pressure: “It’s a chance for the younger guys to gain some experience and see what they can do in the world’s biggest race,” says Aldag. “Results are less important. I feel good about the team and I am excited about it. “

G.C. Ambitions
While the team retains high GC ambitions, the focus is broader than just the yellow jersey. “We are coming in with a good support cast for Rogers, while the rest of the team is there to do work on the flat stages – getting into breakaways or positioning our sprinters for a good run at the finish, be that Cavendish or Eisel,” says Stapleton. “It is not all for one. It is everything for the team."

Until a few months ago Mark Cavendish was very much a long-shot for a Tour start, but after an impressive string of race wins he forced himself into the selection. “The team believes in him, he believes in himself, he’s won against other top riders already. The Tour takes all that up another notch though - the speed and the intensity at the finish is going to be something he hasn’t experienced yet,” says Stapleton.

Cavendish "It’s like a dream come true for me to ride the Tour so early in my career. I will give it everything to repay the team management for their faith in me."

The 26-year old Eisel has plenty of experience of the intensity of the Tour’s bunch gallops. "We signed Bernhard with big races like the Tour in mind, and we never made a secret of that. He has great top-end speed, can win stages and he has shown his willingness to work for the team,” said Aldag.

After steady development German rookies Linus Gerdemann and Marcus Burghardt are keen to test themselves against the best. "It is my first Tour start and it will be part of the learning process“, says Linus Gerdemann, "but of course I also want to race well.” Stapleton sees Burghardt playing a key tactical role as the race develops. “You may see someone like Burghardt working for the sprinters earlier in the race and then going for breakaway in later stages.”

In the mountains Rogers will be relying on the vastly experienced climbers Axel Merckx and Giuseppe Guerini, should the Italian prove his fitness. The team will also look to Patrik Sinkewitz and Kim Kirchen to show their best form on the ferocious slopes of the Alps and Pyreness. Kirchen was very impressive on his way to second overall at last week’s Tour de Suisse.

"Kim has been consistently impressive since the start of the season, and he doesn’t shy away from taking on responsibility either," says sporting director Valerio Piva on the Luxembourg rider who has this week signed a two year extension with the T-Mobile Team.

Sporting directors in France are Piva (48) and Brian Holm (44).

The 94th edition of „"Grand Boucle" starts with a 7.9 Kilometre Prologue in London on July 7th and concludes after 3,550 Kilometres in Paris on July 29th.

T-Mobile Tour Squad:
Marcus Burghardt (23/Germany)
Mark Cavendish (22/Great Britain)
Bernhard Eisel (26/Austria)
Giuseppe Guerini (37/Italy)
Linus Gerdemann (24/Germany)
Kim Kirchen (28/Luxembourg)
Axel Merckx (34/Belgium)
Michael Rogers (27/Australia)
Patrik Sinkewitz (27/Germany)

Sporting directors: Valerio Piva (48/Italy) and Brian Holm (44/Denmark)
Alternate: Bert Grabsch

2007 Tour de France
7. July       Prologue London (Individual time trial), 8 km
8. July       stage 1: London - Canterbury (Great Britain), 203 km
9. July       stage 2: Dunkirk - Ghent (Belgium), 167 km
10. July     stage 3: Waregem (Belgium) - Compiégne, 236 km
11. July     stage 4: Villers-Cotteréts - Joigny, 190 km
12. July     stage 5: Chablis - Autun, 184 km
13. July     stage 6: Semur-en-Auxois - Bourg-en-Bresse, 200 km
14. July     stage 7: Bourg-en-Bresse - Le Grand-Bornand, 197 km
15. July     stage 8: Le Grand-Bornand - Tignes, 165 km
16. July     1rst  rest day in Tignes
17. July     stage 9: Val-d'Isére – Briancon, 161 km
18. July     stage 10: Tallard - Marseille, 229 km
19. July     stage 11: Marseille - Montpellier, 180 km
20. July     stage 12: Montpellier - Castres, 179 km
21. July     stage 13: Albi - Albi, 54 km (Individual time trial)
22. July     stage 14: Mazamet - Plateau de Beille, 197 km
23. July     stage 15: Foix - Loudenvielle-Le Louron, 196 km
24. July     2nd rest day in Pau
25. July     stage 16: Orthez - Col d'Aubisque (Gourette), 218 km
26. July     stage 17: Pau - Castelsarrasin, 188 km
27. July     stage 18: Cahors - Angouléme, 210 km
28. July     stage 19: Cognac - Angouléme, 55 km (Individual time trial)
29. July     stage 20: Marcoussis - Paris Champs-Elysées, 130 km

For all the latest news on the T-Mobile Team go to www.t-mobileteam.com
 

 
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