It's official: T-Mobile has announced Jan Ullrich to be the leader of its team roster for the Tour de Romandie from April 25-30. The Swiss stage race marks the first season outing for the 32 year-old German after overcoming his knee problems. Ullrich has been able to train pain-free in Tuscany of late. "My knee is able to support my full body weight again now that the slight irritation has gone", said the T-Mobile captain, who spent up to six hours each day on the bike and included some intensive motor pacing in his regime.
Supporting Ullrich at the 11th ProTour race this season will be Serguei Gonchar, Eddy Mazzoleni, Michael Rogers and Oscar Sevilla, all of whom are part of T-Mobile's Tour de France core squad. "It's important for the potential Tour riders to train to work well together in all kinds of race situations", said directeur sportif Rudy Pevenage.
The Belgian, who oversaw Jan Ullrich's training in Tuscany, is "not expecting too much" of his protégé at the Tour de Romandie yet - above all, Ullrich is supposed to get some racing kilometres in his legs. "The tour is a good preparation for the Giro", Pevenage explained. Italy's Grand Tour, taking place from May 6-28, is Ullrich's scheduled next stop on the road to the Tour de France.
The full T-Mobile roster at the Tour de Romandie will be: Lorenzo Bernucci, Serguei Gonchar, Bernhard Kohl, Eddy Mazzoleni, Michael Rogers, Oscar Sevilla, Jan Ullrich and Thomas Ziegler.