Several teams have announced their rosters for Sunday's ProTour event Paris-Tours. German T-Mobile will attend the race with Erik Zabel as captain, who's won in Tours twice already: in 1994 and in 2003. For the sprinter, Paris-Tours will be the last ever race in T-Mobile colours after 13 years. Flanking Zabel across the plains of Northern France will be Steffen Wesemann, who placed sixth last weekend in the Züri Metzgete.
"Strong winds in the Loire Valley can influence the outcome of the race," team director Mario Kummer believes. "But Steffen is in good shape, he showed that in Switzerland in the extremely harsh weather conditions." But the main focus of the squad remains Erik Zabel, who could sign out on his T-Mobile career with a "farewell victory" added to the 191 wins he already achieved for the German team.
"We will be setting out our stall to get Erik in the best position for a likely bunch sprint," Kummer added. In 2003, 'Ete' notched up his second Paris-Tours win, edging out Italian speedster Alessandro Petacchi and racing with an average speed of 47.685 km/h, the second fastest in the race's 110 year history.
The complete T-Mobile roster in Paris-Tours will be: Rolf Aldag, Eric Baumann, Marcus Burghardt, Andreas Klier, André Korff, Daniele Nardello, Steffen Wesemann and Erik Zabel.
The second German team, Gerolsteiner, has announced Robert Förster, Rene Haselbacher, Heinrich Haussler, Frank Høj, Sebastian Lang, Michael Rich, Peter Wrolich and Markus Zberg to depart in the race. Høj is a classics specialist, Förster and Haselbacher sprinters, and 21 year-old Haussler just finished seventh in the Züri Metzgete.
Spanish team Saunier Duval-Prodir also attends the event and sends the following riders: Francisco Ventoso, Angel Edo, Juan José Cobo, Manuel Quinziato, Marco Pinotti, Chris Horner, Ángel "Litu" Gómez and Tino Zaballa.
Belgian squad Quick.Step will do without World Champion Tom Boonen in the second-to-last ProTour race. Instead, Wilfried Cretskens, Kevin Hulsmans, Nick Nuyens, Luca Paolini, Filippo Pozzato, Guido Trenti, Stefano Zanini and Wouter Weylandt will participate.
Landbouwkrediet-Colnago has named an all-Belgian roster: Maxime Monfort, Nico Sijmens, Gregory Habeaux, Sven Renders, Mathieu Criquielion, Jurgen Van Loocke, Johan Verstrepen, James Van Landschoot.