T-Mobile team manager Walter Godefroot, who has been known to speak quite frankly about the condition of any of his riders, has declared himself "full of enthusiasm", as far as the pre-Tour shape of Jan Ullrich is concerned. "Ullrich is much better than in the last years," the Belgian told his country's radio station Sporza. "His build-up has taken a long time and was not interrupted. Let's hope that his high level is of duration."
Asked whether he wasn't feeling nervous after the Tour de Suisse, where his team leader wasn't yet on top, he replied, "No. Iban Mayo peaked too soon last year [when he won the Dauphiné Libéré, then did not perform well at the Tour - ed.]. Ullrich will be fit just in time."
Tour 2004 runner-up Andreas Klöden, meanwhile, "will be a helper again", Godefroot said. "He's not up to the pressure yet. As for Alexandre Vinokourov, his abilities in the mountains and in the time trials aren't as good, but he makes up for it through his aggressive riding."