By Susan Westemeyer in Gerolstein, Germany
Team Gerolsteiner has traditionally had a strong family feeling, and that has continued this year, with the many brothers associated with the team.
Marcus and Thomas Fothen both ride for the team and both hope for a better season than in 2007, when the two brought in a total of one victory.
Marcus, 26, who was supposed to have been Tour de France captain, finished down in 34th place. In 2008 he hopes to be closer to his 15th place finish of 2006, if not higher. "I want to finish in the top ten," he said Tuesday at the Gerolsteiner presentation in Gerolstein, Germany. Meanwhile, younger brother Thomas, 24, is also looking for a better year.
Another pair is Christian and Fabian Wegmann. Christian, 31, is in his third year as a directeur sportif for the team, and admitted, "In my first race I had absolutely no idea what I was supposed to do." He must have learned quickly, though. He was successful in guiding younger brother Fabian to victory in the first race that the two worked together, the GP Miguel Indurain.
Fabian, 27, said modestly that "the past season went well for me," and that he is looking forward to wearing the German national champion's jersey again this season. His big goal this year is the World Championships. "It is a good course for me. And the Olympics, of course."
One brother pair has separated. Beat Zberg, 36, retired at the end of the season, leaving Markus, 33, on his own at the team. But it seems likely that the Swiss brothers will see each other during the season. "My goal is the Tour de Suisse," Markus said. "I won a stage there 10 years ago, I think it is time to win again there." He will see a familiar face there: Beat now works for the Tour de Suisse management.