By Susan Westemeyer
The new German national time trial champion is Gerolsteiner's Sebastian Lang. In the road race, the third place winner in 2004 was Gerolsteiner's Fabian Wegmann and in 2005 Gerolsteiner's Robert Förster was second. So the winner this year has to be a Gerolsteiner rider, doesn't it? That's about how the team sees it. It is sending 13 riders - all the German riders on the team except for Heinrich Haussler, who is ill - in an attempt to win the German national road race title on Sunday.
Directeur Sportif Christian Henn said that he especially expects something from "our Tour riders, our boys are in great shape." That would be Markus Fothen, Fabian Wegmann, Ronny Scholz, Sebastian Lang and David Kopp, all of whom will be starting the Tour de France next weekend. But Henn doesn't count out Stefan Schumacher, who is "super motivated." Schumacher also has experience with the nationals, where he finished second in 2004.
Germany isn't the only nation to have Gerolsteiner riders competing in the nationals. The teams four Swiss riders - Beat Zberg, Marcus Zberg, Sven Montgomery and Marcel Strauss - will be riding in Switzerland, while Frank Hoj will represent the sparkling water squad in Denmark.