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Tour de France 2007 - Team Previews: T-Mobile
By Staff
Date: 7/5/2007
Tour de France 2007 - Team Previews: T-Mobile

Tour de France 2007 - Team Previews: T-Mobile

T-Mobile renewed there team and will make a fresh start in the Tour de France with lots of new faces. Michael Rogers is there team leader and is aiming for a top 5. With Cavendish and Eisel they have two superb sprinters as well.

By Bart Hazen

T-Mobile has renewed there team in the beginning of the season after the doping matters around there Tour de France captain Jan Ullrich. The team introduced a new doping policy which changed the team in many ways. This had also consequences for there Tour de France team.

After the departure of riders like Jan Ullrich, Eddy Mazzoleni and Andreas Klöden, it's Michael Rogers a multiple World Champion against the clock, and 10th in the Tour de France 2006 who is there new team captain for the upcoming Tour de France.

All the riders of T-Mobile have signed the UCI riders commitment, which allowes them to start in the Tour de France. Christian Prudhomme the boss of the Tour de France stated that riders or teams who won't sign that commitment are not allowed to take the start in London.

Anyway back to the T-Mobile team for the Worlds biggest cycling event. T-Mobile manager Bob Stapleton says the following about the overall shape of the team:
"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."

As we said before Michael Rogers is the team captain for this event. The 27 year old from Australia finished 10th in last years event. He rode without pressure this season and could prepare himself very optimal for this race. He is aiming for a top 5 in Paris. Rogers says: "The Tour is the hardest race of all in my books. Every stage is raced like a one-day world cup race. I hope it goes well. I have trained very hard and prepared the best I can. I hope to finish in the top 5."
This year Rogers showed already some form by finishing second in the Volta a Catalunya behind Vladimir Karpets.

Michael Rogers is the team captain in the Tour de France. Photo c. Bart Hazen

Rogers gets the support in the mountains of Veteran Axel Merckx, Linus Gerdemann, Patrik Sinkewitz and Kim Kirchen. For the bunch sprints the team has young British start Mark Cavendish and Austria's Bernhard Eisel. Young Marcus Burghardt and Bert Grabsch are the main domestique riders of the team and can do there work as well in the mountains as on the flat roads.

Next to Rogers we will give a short introduction to all of the other riders who will line-up for the prologue in London:

Marcus Burghardt - Marcus Burghardt is 23 years old of age and had a wonderful spring season by winning Gent-Wevelgem in front of his teammate Roger Hammond. Further he showed himself very emphatically in all the Belgium (semi-)classics. Burghardt will line-up for his first Tour de France.
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."

Bernhard Eisel - Bernhard Eisel is 26 years old of age and is a good sprinter too. He has to help Mark Cavendish in the sprints or can go for own glory as well. For Eisel it's not his first participation as he rode the Tour already for La Francaise des Jeux. This year he won already three races; a stage in the Volta ao Algarve, the Lancaster Classic and the Reading Classic.
The team says about Eisel: "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."

Bert Grabsch - Bert Grabsch is 32 years old of age and is the replacement of Giuseppe Guerrini. Guerrini is still suffering from stomach problems and couldn't start. Grabsch won the German Time Trial Championships last week and is in great shape in order to help the team in the best possible way. In the Tour he will also see his brother Ralf, who will start for Milram.
The team says about Grabsch: "Bert has been performing very solidly in the past weeks. He brings a lot of experience and is definitely a strong replacement for Giuseppe."

Mark Cavendish - Mark Cavendish is 22 years old of age and is the sensation of the season so far. Cavendish turned pro in the beginning of this season and won already six races in a sprint. His six wins in this season are the Grote Scheldeprijs, two stages in the 4 days of Dunkerque, two stages in the Volta a Catalunya and a stage in the Ster Elektro Toer. Cavendish will line-up for his first ever Tour de France in his own home country Great Britain, which is very very special to him because he knows the course very well.
Stapleton says on Cavendish: "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."

Mark Cavendish after winning the final stage in the Ster Elektro Toer. Photo c. Bart Hazen

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."

Linus Gerdemann - Linus Gerdemann is 24 years old of age and will line-up for his first Tour de France. Linus is a young promising German rider for the Grand Tours in the future. For this years Tour de France he is already aiming to do well in the best young rider classification. So far Linus didn't had his best season after a solid 2005 and 2006 season. His best results thus far this season 9th in Milano Torino, 9th in the Ruta del Sol, 18th in the Tirreno-Adriatico and 20th in the Tour de Suisse.
Linus says: "It is my first Tour start and it will be part of the learning process, but of course I also want to race well."

Kim Kirchen - Kim Kirchen is 28 years old of age and will line-up for his 3rd Tour de France. Kirchen is in great shape by finishing second in the Tour de Suisse, 2 weeks ago. Further he finished 2nd in the Tirreno-Adriatico, 3rd in Milano-Torino and 3rd in the Brabantse Pijl. Kim is riding so well that the team extended his contract with two more years. Kirchen will hunt for stage wins and will be one of the key riders for Michael Rogers.
Sport-Director Piva says: "Kim has been consistently impressive since the start of the season, and he doesn't shy away from taking on responsibility either"

Axel Merckx - Axel Merckx is the oldest rider in the team with an age of 34. Axel, who is the son of Eddy Merckx, will line-up for his final Tour de France. Axel announced in the beginning of the season that he will quit with professional cycling after the end of the season. In preparation on the Tour de France, Axel rode already the Giro D'Italia and did a lot of work for Maglia Rosa wearer Marco Pinotti. In the Tour de France he will be one of the helpers for Rogers and will try to go once again for a stage win. It would be a great victory to end his career.

And last but not least we have Patrik Sinkewitz. Patrick Sinkewitz is 27 years old of age and won Rund um den Henninger Turm in May. He also finished 2nd behind Fabian Wegmann in the road race of the German Championships last week. The team hopes that Sinkewitz will show his great form on the ferocious slopes of the Alps and Pyrenees in order to help Rogers achieving his goal. But he will try to go for own success as well.

The T-Mobile roster for the Tour de France:

Marcus Burghardt (23/Germany)
Mark Cavendish (22/Great Britain)
Bernhard Eisel (26/Austria)
Bert Grabsch (32/Germany)
Linus Gerdemann (24/Germany)
Kim Kirchen (28/Luxembourg)
Axel Merckx (34/Belgium)
Michael Rogers (27/Australia)
Patrik Sinkewitz (27/Germany)

Sport-Directors: Valerio Piva (48/Italy) and Brian Holm (44/Denmark)

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