After taking a month off racing to train specifically for the Tour de France, where he will ride in support of Jan Ullrich, Andreas Klöden's impressive victory on the final stage of the Bayern Rundfahrt showed he's well on his way to achieving top form in July.
"This win gives me a real morale booster for the coming weeks of hard work, and shows that my Tour preparations are bang on schedule," said Klöden on t-mobile-team.com. "The race pause was well worth it. I am convinced that my form curve will just continue to rise from now on."
T-Mobile directeur sportif Mario Kummer was also satisfied with Klöden return to form: "It was absolutely the right decision for Andreas to concentrate on intensive training the last four weeks. He has demonstrated that he has been doing things right," he said.
And although the 29 year-old German champion finished second to Armstrong at last year's Tour de France, Klöden has already made clear his motives in 2005, where he will provide 100 percent support to Jan Ullrich.
"I know that I can ride a good Tour and that I will be there for Jan all the way. I am convinced that in five weeks time, we will head to the Tour with a super-competitive team."
Alexandre Vinokourov, third overall at the 2003 Tour, also finished second place on the general classification to Michael Rich (Gerolsteiner) at the Bayern Rundfahrt, giving the team another confidence-booster.