By Susan Westemeyer
If Jan Ullrich wants to ride in the Pro Tour, it won't be with Team Astana, says the team's sport director, Walter Godefroot. "Even if he hasn't been charged with doping, and there is no decision from a court, I still couldn't imagine it. A contract seems to be out of the question," he told the German magazine Kicker. Godefroot and Ullrich worked together at Team Telekom/T-Mobile. There are currently seven former members of that team on the 2007 Astana roster.
Godefroot also denied that Andreas Klöden was coming to the team as a helper to captain Alexander Vinokourov. "We don't hire someone who has finished second or third in the Tour de France to be a helper for Vinokourov. We have other riders for that." The Belgian assumes that the team will approach the Tour de France 2007 with a three-pronged strategy of Vinokourov, Klöden and Andrei Kashechkin. "It will surely be very hard for our rivals to adjust to that," he said. He is sure which team will win that race, even if he doesn't yet know which rider it will be. "Whether it will be the first Kazakh Tour win or the second German victory, I can't say right now.'"