Stefan Schumacher is one of the top favourites in the upcoming World Championships in Stuttgart. The Gerolsteiner rider, who this year won the Amstel Gold Race, has shown he can win on such a difficult climbing course, and will be especially motivated to do well in his home region. But the 26-year-old is upset at the way things seem to be developing within the German team.
Schumacher's Sport Director, Christian Henn, will not be allowed to accompany the World's team, in light of his doping confession this past spring. "I just can't believe that," Schumacher told Radsportnews.net. "Christian Henn is the best sporting director that I have had in my whole career. It would be very important to me that he sits in the team at the Worlds. It is a real blow to me that he won't be there."
Hans-Michael Holczer, Gerolsteiner team manager, and Jan Schaffrath, Directeur Sportif at T-Mobile Team, will accompany the German team at the championships.
Schumacher protested against the "double standards" that barred Henn but allowed Erik Zabel, who also made a doping confession this spring, to participate. "I find that shameless. Where is the logic? That is a double standard."
While Schumacher says he has no problem with Zabel's presence on the team, others worry that the team may concentrate on the sprinter rather than on him. "It could be that the team will give Zabel six helpers and Schumacher maybe just one or two," according to an anonymous insider.
"It's not up to me to put together the national team, but I have certain requirements, that is normal," he said. "A Bettini always has his helpers on the Italian team." Schumacher particularly would like to have his team-mates Fabian Wegmann and David Kopp on the team. Wegmann's chances to be nominated seem good, while Kopp's do not. "Fabian is super strong and can do a lot in the finale. But he alone is not enough. David is the perfect helper underway. I know that he will do everything for me. In top form he is one of the best German riders for one-day races. I absolutely want to have him at the Worlds."