Godefroot looks back at T-Mobile, Ullrich and Pevenage

Walter Godefroot, the retiring general manager of the T-Mobile Team, said in an interview with the...

Walter Godefroot, the retiring general manager of the T-Mobile Team, said in an interview with the Belgian Sport Magazine that he was "getting tired of it all. You start to notice that you no longer have that edge and that you let certain things pass you by."

In addition, he disagrees with the direction the team is taking. To him, "The team is more important than the individual, no matter what. And that goes against everything they're doing at T-Mobile right now. Everything is focused on Jan Ullrich and will be even more so next season. I don't feel comfortable with the direction they're taking."

Godefroot was critical of his star rider, Jan Ullrich, and his personal advisor, soon-to-be Directeur Sportif, Rudy Pevenage. "Things aren't easy with Jan, he only wants one thing: that you leave him be. Jan hardly bothers with other riders, either. Armstrong, for example, would call injured riders two times a week to check up on them. Ullrich would never do that. On the other hand: I never heard Jan say a bad word about anyone."

He noted that several support staff members had left the team specifically because of Pevenage, adding, "I don't think it's a bad thing to give Pevenage full responsibility over Ullrich. If Jan fails in the Tour, Pevenage doesn't have anyone else to blame anymore."

Looking back at the Tour, Godefroot said, "It was remarkable that it was mostly (D.S. Mario) Kummer who was being criticized during the Tour, they didn't think him crafty enough, not enough of an Arschloch (arsehole) like they say in Germany. Even if Mario is an excellent DS. But now they've gone and made him coordinator instead."

How does he summarize his decision to leave? "I did my job and now it's time for a new part of my life. It's as simple as that."

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

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