By Susan Westemeyer
The Deutschland Tour starts on Friday, but Germany's Andreas Klöden will not be there. Instead he will start his fifth Vuelta a España, looking to support his team Astana, rather than lead it.
Why he is in Spain and not in Germany is simple, team representative Philippe Maertens told Cyclingnews. "The team asked him. Andreas was so good in the Giro [d'Italia] that we hope he can be as useful and strong in the Vuelta. Andreas really would have liked to start in Germany, but for the team, the Vuelta is more important now.
"It would be great if the team, not invited in the Tour de France, could win the Giro and the Vuelta. However, a lot of things can happen in three weeks."
As to how the team will do in the D-tour, he added that, "Without Andreas it will be more difficult to win the Tour of Germany but we start there with a highly motivated Jani Brajkovic."
This week the German cycling federation announced its short list for the upcoming World Championships, with Klöden's name rather glaringly missing from the line-up. "For the moment Andreas will not react on the Varese matter. He wants to start the Vuelta as strong and concentrated as possible," Maertens said.