T-Mobile have revealed a powerful line up for the Tour de France, with Jan Ullrich team leader as he attempts to inherit Lance Armstrong?s crown.
After casting a final look at their riders? form at the recent Tour de Suisse and Vuelta a Asturias, T-Mobile Team manager Olaf Ludwig and Tour sporting director Rudy Pevenage have gone a mix of climbing strength, experience and talent.
A core team of Ullrich, Serhiy Honchar, Andreas Kloden, Eddy Mazzoleni and Michael Rogers was selected at the start of the season and the final starting nine has been completed with Giuseppe Guerini, Matthias Kessler, Oscar Sevilla and Patrik Sinkewitz. 2005 Tour stage winner Lorenzo Bernucci as first reserve.
?We are taking a fantastic team to the start line,? Jan Ullrich said of his team mates, emphasizing ?the great mood in the camp and the potential within the team.?
Ullrich announced he would not now ride the German national championships in Sunday but said he was ?extremely satisfied? with his form for the Tour and added that his overall win in Switzerland has given him ?enormous self-confidence.?
Olaf Ludwig admits that it wasn?t easy to select the final nine riders for the team.
?We were in the fortunate position to have a shortlist of 12 strong candidates to choose from,? Ludwig said.
Sevilla snatched the final place in the team after winning the Vuelta a Asturias.
?In the end we opted for another pure climber in Oscar Sevilla over a so-called rouleur,? Rudy Pevenage explained.
The T-Mobile team will travel to Strasbourg next Wednesday ready for the start of the Tour on Saturday July 1.
The T-Mobile Tour de France Team (age /nationality):
Giuseppe Guerini (36/Italy)
Serhiy Honchar (35/Ukraine)
Matthias Kessler (27/Germany)
Andreas Kloden (30/ Germany)
Eddy Mazzoleni (32/Italy)
Michael Rogers (26/Australia)
Patrik Sinkewitz (25/Germany)
Oscar Sevilla (30/Spain)
Jan Ullrich (32/Germany)