T-Mobile's Eric Baumann doesn't expect to win Paris-Tours, but is happy just to be able to race it. The sprinter missed much of the year due to a complicated leg break suffered in February, so he spent much more time in hospitals and therapy than in the Spring Classics. "I'm happy to be riding again," Baumann said.
A crash in the Algarve Tour broke both bones in Baumann's lower left leg. After surgery, he did extensive therapy before finally climbing back on the bike two and half months after the crash. He returned to racing at the Denmark Tour in August, followed by the Eneco Tour and the Poland Tour, but it was only after the Circuit Franco-Belge last month that he could say, "Now I'm back to the right level."
Fortunately for him he didn't have to worry about his contract, which expired at the end of this season. "The former team management told me that I would get a new contract if I recovered," he said, and the new management has followed suit. "Eric Baumann is a good type, who deserves a second chance," according to incoming director sportif Rolf Aldag.