Giuseppe Guerini joined Team Telekom for the 1999 season, hoping to help Jan Ullrich win the Tour de France and never dreaming he would stay with the German team until the end of his career. The Tour victory never happened, but Guerini is still with T-Mobile, and at 36-years-old, finds himself not only the rider with the most seniority on the team, but also the oldest. Cyclingnews' Susan Westemeyer caught up with him during the training camp on Mallorca.
How does it feel to be the oldest on the team? "That's not so funny, because I am the oldest," he said, laughing anyway. The youngest rider on the team, Gerald Ciolek, is only 20-years-old, or 16 years younger. "I saw him in training just two days ago and said to him, when I turned pro you were only six years old. Now here we are on the same team." Philosophically, he added, "It was strange, but that's life. So far I think that I am still young. But now I am the oldest."
Guerini is consistently called a nice guy, always polite and friendly. Team spokesman Stefan Wagner called him "a gentleman". Former teammate Udo Bölts, now a directeur sportif with Team Gerolsteiner, says he is "a nice and always friendly colleague. A hard worker, heart and soul."
He admitted he had never dreamed that he would stay with T-Mobile so long. "I am happy to stay on this team, I am very proud to stay on this team." Why did he stay? "I think it's because I never had any problems with the riders or with the team, I was always professional and I had some good results. I worked really hard to get some good results. But maybe you should ask the management why they always offered me a new contract!"
See the full interview here.