Despite the fact that the 2007 season has only just finished, T-Mobile have already started their build-up for 2008 with a three-day get-together in Cologne, Germany. Roger Hammond, Mark Cavendish and new signing Bradley Wiggins are all attending.
The three-day meeting which finishes on Tuesday, has several objectives, most importantly for new riders to familiarise themselves with team management and team-mates prior to January’s training camp.
?It?s so busy I don?t know what the weather?s like in Cologne – I haven?t been out of the hotel.? Britain?s Roger Hammond half-jokingly told CW?s website.
?But given we all come from so far afield, there?s riders from three different continents here, it makes sense to do this now rather than trying to get everybody back over for three or four days at the start of December for some team presentation photos.?
According to Hammond, team programs for the first half of the year are organised at the get-together. Each rider then knows what they will be doing well in advance of the Mallorca training camp.
?It?s a good way of ensuring you can plan your winter training well.? Hammond points out.
Co-sponsors are also present at the get-together, so that riders equipment and kit – in the correct measurements – is ready for 2008.
?The final part of the meeting is getting to know any changes for the following year in the team management, who?s left and who?s new.?
Such team meetings often have a period set aside for sight-seeing or trips round the local town, but Hammond says that ?being a day shorter than usual, this year?s there?s no time for that. The only socializing we?re doing is when we meet for dinner.?