Tour de France: Team Milram Announces Tour Squad
The squad in the "Baby Blue" colors brings a "Well Balanced" team to the tour
capable of controlling the sprints... but will the squad arrive with Ale Jet as
his participation hangs in the wind.
Team Milram at the Pro Tour Eindhoven Team Time Trial event; a third for the
lads in the "baby blue' jerseys.
Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti
Team Milram announces its selection for the Tour de France. With the Italians
Alessandro Petacchi, Alberto Ongarato and Alessandro Cortinovis, the Australian
Brett Lancaster as well as the five German riders Erik Zabel, Ralf Grabsch,
Marcel Sieberg, Christian Knees and Enrico Poitschke, Team Milram sends a well
balanced selection to France. Vittorio Algeri and Antonio Bevilacqua will
accompany the team as sport directors.
2007 Tour Squad
1. Zabel, Erik
2. Ongarato, Alberto
3. Grabsch, Ralf
4. Knees, Christian
5. Lancaster, Brett
6. Sieberg, Marcel
7. Poitschke, Enrico
8. Cortinovis, Alessandro
9. Petacchi, Alessandro
Directeurs Sportif: Vittorio Algeri and Antonio Bevilacqua
In the year after Team Milramís Tour premiere, where Erik Zabel sprinted to
second in the points classification, the teamís goal for this yearís Tour de
France is clearly defined: to win as many stage wins as possible for Milram.
Erik Zabel on the podium after his stage 1 victory at the Tour de Suisse.
Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti
For Erik Zabel, who celebrates his 37th birthday on the start day of the tour, this is
his13th participation at the Tour de France. From his point of view, the team
performance is in the foreground. "I want to be a full part
of Team Milram and celebrate successes together with my team at the
Tour de France,ď says Erik Zabel.
Christian Knees and Ralf Grabsch are
doing their second Tour de France this year. At his Tour debut in 2006
Knees was brilliant at a break, in which he codetermined the stage for a
long time and finally was awarded the red number of the stageís most combative rider. This, the 26 year-old would
like to repeat. "One of my personal
goals is to be in a break again and maybe even to survive for the win. But my
primary goal is to work for the team first of course,ď
Christian Knees says.
"About Ralf Grabsch it can be said that he, at the
last Tour de France, excelled especially in the first week and in the mountains.
This year, with his impressive solo escape at Paris -
Roubaix, he absolutely convinced us that he is an important man for the Tour the
France,ď manager Gerry van Gerwen explained.
me, the Tour de France is the seasonís second highlight after the spring
classics, first of all itís important that our team can
celebrate a stage win. And I want to make my contribution to that,ď
Grabsch commented about his goals.
Ale Jet - Victory in Milan on the final stage of this years Giro d'Italia.
Alessandro's inclusion in the team is in the balance after a CONI hearing on
Monday July 2nd.
Marcel Sieberg and Enrico Poitschke are the debutants in the German
Tour selection. With his strong performance in the first half of the season
Sieberg qualified for the Tour de France at first go. "Marcel quickly
integrated himself into the team very well,ď says Gianluigi Stanga. For the
25 year-old the Tour de France is the first tour over three weeks.
Sieberg described his goals in this years grand boucle, "Iím
excited about the whole event. I have always dreamt of being at the Tour de
France. I am especially resolved to do good work for the team and to
arrive in Paris. Maybe I can even show myself in the one or other break,ď
For Enrico Poitschke it has always been an important goal to start at the Tour de France.
"At Team Milram I had the
possibility to do the Tour for the first time. Before, I was always at smaller
teams which didnít start there. Now it worked out, and it is another
absolute challenge to me,ď Poitschke said.
"Like last year, the first Tour week is of special importance to us
again. Weíre going to France with a well-balanced Team which is able to lead the sprint
well. What matters most is that in the end a Milram rider wins,ď Stanga defines his teamís intention during itís second
participation at the Tour.
The Milram squad is completed by the Italians Alberto Ongarato and Alessandro
Cortinovis as well as Brett Lancaster from Australia. "Brett Lancaster
surprised us positively from the very beginning. He integrated himself
very well into the Milram-train, especially in the last months and is an
excellent chronoman as well,ď Gerry van Gerwen says. Lancaster himself is
looking forward to the challenge of the tour, "For me, it is an
absolute dream to be there. I just want to do a good job for the team, and who
knows, maybe I can even win the prologue,ď the 28 year-old said.
The Italians Alberto Ongarato and Alessandro Cortinovis are looking
forward to the Tour de France as well. Ongarato starts at the Grand
Boucle for the first time, for Cortinovis it is the third participation. Both
want to be at the teamís service and perform successfully at the Tour de
France with their team.
Due to the still open increased amount of the permitted asthma-spray
Salbutamol with Alessandro Petacchi, it is not sure at the moment if the
Italian will start at the Tour de France. On Monday, Petacchi will speak at the disciplinary commission of the Italian Olympic Committee
(CONI Ė Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano). If Petacchi is able to
explain the data plausibly, he is allowed to start again at once.
If not, the
Italian Olympic Committee returns the case to the Italian Cycling
Federation (F.C.I.), which decides on the degree of penalty then. "The
team sticks to the ProTour teamsí ethic code. Accordingly we are obliged
to suspend Petacchi until the case is solved,ď Gerry van Gerwen
explains. The Italian Olympic Committee plans to publish the results of
the disciplinary commission on 3rd July 2007.