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The BMC Teammachine of the American GC hopeful
Hyper-aggressive position for the sprint lead-out
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National theme bike for Tour's lone Japanese rider
Markus Fothen (Gerolsteiner).
Two more former Milram riders find a team
Markus and Thomas Fothen have signed with the German Continental-ranked Team NSP. The brothers had last ridden for the now-defunct Team Milram, and will ride with former Milram teammate Markus Eichler at NSP.
The team will go into its first season with 16 riders, all German.
The team management “convinced us with their concept,” Markus Fothen, 29, said. “NSP has ambitious goals, and we do too. The mixture in the team is good and Thomas and I can bring a lot of experience and knowledge.”
Younger brother Thomas, 27, was impressed by the team's schedule. “For a new team, the race calendar is really strong. There are some real highlights there.”
Sport director Lars Wackernagel, who ended his pro career at the end of the 2010 season, was enthusiastic about the team's last two signings. “Markus will surely help us enormously with his time trial abilities and as an experienced stage race specialist,” he said. He also looks to Thomas to do well in one-day races. “Thomas can do more than he has shown in the past.”
Markus Fothen first came to notice when he won the U23 World time trial title in 2003. He rode for Team Gerolsteiner in 2004, and transferred to Milram in 2009. He finished 12th in the Giro d'Italia in 2005 and 15th in the Tour de France the next year, but was unable to repeat those results. In 2008 he won stages at the Tour de Suisse and the Regio-Tour.
Thomas Fothen turned pro in 2005 with Sparkasse, and rode for Gerolsteiner and Milram.