30 year-old German cyclist Andreas Klöden was compared favourably to Jan Ullrich when he burst onto the scene in 2000, but an injury-plagued career has seen him never quite reach his full potential. Shane Stokes spoke to him at the T-Mobile team presentation in Mallorca earlier this month to find out how he will do things differently this year.
He may not have won a massive amount of races, but his palmares proves that Andreas Klöden is one of the most talented riders in the peloton. Winner of Paris-Nice and the Vuelta a Pais Vasco in 2000, he took bronze in the Olympic road race that same year and then, four years later, went on to win the German championship and place an excellent second in the Tour de France.
In-between the two bursts of form, Klöden was held back by injury, but when he is in full shape he displays a level of ability which is not far off that of his T-Mobile team-mate - and Teutonic compatriot - Jan Ullrich. Many predicted that his superb ride in the 2004 Tour would lead to a boost in motivation, leading to a similar or even strong challenge in 2005.