With the Ronde van Vlaanderen now behind them, T-Mobile will line up for Wednesday's 68th Gent-Wevelgem with a slightly depleted roster. Sports director Valerio Piva will take only seven riders to the start in Deinze, as Steffen Wesemann, who already scratched the Tour of Flanders as a result of breathing difficulties, is still not 100 percent fit and with one eye on Paris-Roubaix, the veteran will be rested on Wednesday. Bram Schmitz, after a top performance in Sunday's Ronde, is now suffering from back trouble and is a doubtful starter in Gent. A decision will be made on the Dutchman's well-being later this evening.
With two rosters already in action at the Basque Country (ProTour) and Sarthe, Piva has nowhere to turn for reinforcements: "With our injury list and the races in the Basque Country and Sarthe, we're down to the bare bones, so I can't call up any riders," said the Italian.
Despite the team's personnel problems, Andreas Klier upbeat about his chances in the 210 km race. The German won Gent-Wevelgem in 2003, and after a solid ninth place at the Tour of Flanders, he is eager to get back to the podium. Klier's relationship with the Tour of Flanders' little sister has been bittersweet, however. Last year, in contrast to his 2003 heroics, he suffered concussion and a knee injury after colliding with a race motorbike in the feeding zone.
Lining up alongside Klier on the cobblestones of West Flanders are Lorenzo Bernucci, Marcus Burghardt, André Greipel, Sergey Ivanov and Stephan Schreck. "In our situation the team spirit will be more important than ever. The team already showed on Sunday that they are capable of working very well together," said Piva.
The full roster: Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita), Marcus Burghardt (Ger), André Greipel (Ger), Sergey Ivanov (Rus), Andreas Klier (Ger), Bram Schmitz (Ned), Stephan Schreck (Ger). Sports director: Valerio Piva (Ita).