By Susan Westemeyer
Some 23 years after his third place in the 1984 Vuelta a España, Gerolsteiner directeur sportif Reimund Dietzen will lead a squad at the Spanish race featuring three youngsters not even born at the time of his accomplishment. Tim Klinger was born in September of 1984, while Johannes Fröhlinger and Tom Stamsnijder didn't appear in the world until the next year. The three youngsters will be joined by three 26 ear-olds in Stefan Schumacher, Oliver Zaugg, and Markus Fothen, who turns 26 on September 9. The team will be filled out by 27 year-old Torsten Hiekmann, 28 year-old Andrea Moletta and 36 year-old Davide Rebellin.
"We will be looking for stage wins," declared Dietzen. "We were able to do that the last two years. Why not again?" His two stage winners from, Heinrich Haussler in 2005 and Robert Förster in 2006, aren't riding the Vuelta this year, but Dietzen will be looking to Schumacher and Rebellin to fill the void. "Davide and Stefan are always good for a win. But why shouldn't one of the others pull off a surprise?" he asked.
Two of the riders are coming back from injuries and surgery. Zaugg had to drop out of the Giro d'Italia with knee problems and underwent surgery in June while Moletta broke his femur in a dramatic crash in Milano-Sanremo, at which time he swore he would return to ride the Vuelta.
Gerolsteiner for the Vuelta a España: Markus Fothen, Johannes Fröhlinger, Torsten Hiekmann, Tim Klinger, Andrea Moletta, Davide Rebellin, Stefan Schumacher, Tom Stamsnijder, and Oliver Zaugg.