The T-Mobile Team will be taking their sprinters to Sunday's 100th edition of the Paris-Tours (October 8). With Eric Baumann, André Greipel, André Korff and Olaf Pollack, the team management has four fast men for the season's penultimate ProTour race. Rounding out the roster are the classics' specialists Lorenzo Bernucci, Daniele Nardello (both Italy), Dutchman Bas Giling and the German Stephan Schreck.
"Our goal is to be in the breaks early and to ride on the offensive", said T-Mobile's DS Frans van Looy.
The 254,5 km predominantly flat race isn't called the "sprinters' classic" for nothing. Erik Zabel won it three times, the last being in 2005 in his final race for T-Mobile. But sometimes, breaks can stay clear, such as when Erik Dekker took a last gasp victory in 2004, and Philippe Gilbert and Stijn Devolder almost pulled off the same move last year.
Apart from Zabel, Italian Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Fondital), Stuart O'Grady (Team CSC) and Tom Boonen (Quick-Step) are among the top favourites this year. In case of a breakaway win, Belgian Leif Hoste (Discovery Channel) or Spaniard Juan-Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) could be the men to watch.