German team T-Mobile returned to its home base in Bonn for a post-Tour fans and media reception on Monday. Susan Westemeyer was there for Cyclingnews to report on what was generally a successful Tour for the magenta team.
It could have been better ... but it could have been a lot worse, too. The Tour de France got off to what might politely be called a rocky start for Team T-Mobile, what with its captain, another rider and the directeur sportif being not only thrown out of the race but suspended from the team.
But it ended up with three stage wins, three days wearing the leader's yellow jersey, the overall team ranking and, oh yes, the third place in GC.
That third place seems to be a sticking point. Andreas Klöden ended up on the podium in a race he initially expected to be a super-domestique in, but despite that achievement he is left with a feeling of 'what if?' "With a little luck, I could have done more," he said Monday at T-Mobile's corporate headquarters in Bonn, Germany, at a reception for the Tour team. The gathered fans didn't seem to care - they were happy to celebrate their heroes. The crowd was perhaps a bit smaller than in past years, but just as enthusiastic.