T-Mobile officially kicked off their 2007 season on Saturday, presenting their male and female teams in Majorca to the world media. Special guests included UCI president Pat McQuaid and Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme who were forced to sit next to each other despite their war of words over the ProTour.
After Jan Ullrich was implicated in Operacion Puerto and then sacked during the Tour de France, T-Mobile have revolutionized the team, making massive changes is both the team?s management and riders. New team manager Bob Stapleton brought in 13 new riders to the men?s team and completely overhauled the team management.
??Die Mannschaft? (team spirit), these are two powerful words and together we can build the power of the united team into the strongest force in cycling. We believe in clean and fair sport, and want to be a team that fans, like, believe in, and ultimately trust,? Stapleton said.
?This is not a team of superstars, but one which stands for clean and fair sport, an innovative and dynamic. We place huge importance on respect, character and mutual trust.?
Head of the team?s sports management Rolf Aldag admits the team might not win a many races in its first season but promised exciting racing.
“After the doping scandal in the summer of 2006, the time was right to make big changes here – and to assume responsibility for shaping those changes,” he said.
“2007 will be a transitional year for us and it certainly won’t be the most successful in our history but how do you measure success? An exciting style of racing that wins us public support, for me that?s success. The aim is to stay competitive throughout the entire season and to attract attention from a wider audience?.
The 29-rider men?s team is a mix of quality experienced riders and very promising young talent. Three-time time-trial world champion Michael Rogers will be captain and contender in the Tour de France and will be backed by Patrik Sinkewitz, André Greipel, Serguei Gonchar and Giuseppe Guerini. Other names to watch include U23 road world champion Gerald Ciolek of Germany.
HAMMOND SET TO RIDE TOUR DE FRANCE
Roger Hammond is considered one of the cornerstones of the new line-up. He will be one of the leaders of the classics squad along with Bernhard Eisel, Axel Merckx and Kim Kirchen. He will also act as a role models in the team, helping Mark Cavendish learn how to handle his first year as a professional.
Hammond revealed to Cycling Weekly that he will almost certainly ride the Tour de France this year and be leading spokesman for T-Mobile during the Grand Depart in London.
There will be a full interview with Hammond in Thursday?s Cycling Weekly.
OENONE WOOD LEADS WOMEN?S TEAM
The women?s T-Mobile team is probably the strongest in women?s cycling with new recruit Oenone Wood of Australia joining Judith Arndt, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Kim Anderson. A new all-female management also been installed with Kristy Scrymgeour as team manager, Anna Wilson as directeur sportive and Petra Rossner as team coach.
?Great importance is placed on character? in the selection of women riders. The season goals are also identical: ?We want to stay competitive across the entire season and be in contention for the World Cup races the bigger stage races,? Scrymgeour said.
MAJORCA TRAINING CAMP
The riders have been training hard in Majorca since last Monday, working on the road but also in the gym with special fitness coaches who worked with the Germany soccer team during the World Cup. The camp programme also includes a series of expert workshops to help the riders understand the training support tools at their disposal, such as SRM training systems and Training Peaks software.
?Our aim with this camp is to improve the quality of training and set the foundation for a successful season. We want the riders to leave here fitter, faster, stronger and ready to race,? Stapleton said.
The men?s team will make their season debut on January 29 at the Tour of Qatar, while the women have their first official race at the Geelong Tour in Australia from February 27 until March 1.
There will be special in-depth coverage from the T-Mobile presentation in Thursday?s Cycling Weekly.
The 2007 T-Mobile Teams:
General Manager: Bob Stapleton (USA)
Head of Sports Management: Rolf Aldag (Germany)
Sporting Directors: Tristan Hoffman (Netherlands), Brian Holm (Denmark), Allan Peiper (Australia), Valerio Piva (Italy), Jan Schaffrath (Germany)
Riders: Michael Barry (30/Canada), Eric Baumann (26/Germany), Lorenzo Bernucci (27/Italy), Marcus Burghardt (23/Germany), Mark Cavendish (21/Great Britain), Gerald Ciolek (20/Germany), Scott Davis (27/Australia), Bernhard Eisel (25/Austria), Linus Gerdemann (24/Germany), Bert Grabsch (30/Germany), André Greipel (24/Germany), Giuseppe Guerini (36/Italy), Roger Hammond (31/Great Britain), Adam Hansen (Australia/25), Greg Henderson (New Zealand/30), Serhiy Honchar (36/Ukraine), Kim Kirchen (28/Luxembourg), Andreas Klier (30/Germany), Servais Knaven (35/Netherlands), André Korff (33/Germany), Axel Merckx (34/Belgium), Aaron Olsen (29/USA), Jacob Piil (33/Denmark), Marco Pinotti (30/Italy, Frantisek Rabon, (23/Czech Republic), Michael Rogers (27/Australia), Stephan Schreck (28/Germany), Patrik Sinkewitz (26/Germany) und Thomas Ziegler (26/Germany).
Team Manager: Kristy Scrymgeour (Australia)
Directeur Sportive: Anna Wilson (Australia)
Coach: Petra Rossner (Germany)
Riders: Kim Anderson (38/USA), Judith Arndt (30/Germany), Kate Bates (24/Australia), Chantal Beltman (30/Netherlands), Suzanne de Goede (22/Netherlands), Emilia Fahlin (18/Sweden), Alex Rhodes (22/Australia), Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (32/Germany), Linda Villumsen (21/Denmark), Anke Wichmann (31/Germany), Oenone Wood (26/Australia).