With the Giro d'Italia and the Bayern-Rundfahrt out of the way, T-Mobile are looking ahead to their next race - the Tour of Luxembourg (May 31-June 4). Kim Kirchen spearheads the six-rider roster in his homeland, and Luxembourg's 2005 Sportsman of the Year will be out to prove that title is no fluke and has set a goal of a top ten place in the five-day race.
Olaf Pollack travels to the Grand Duchy fresh off his battles for a stage win at the Giro; and after many near-misses and a day in the maglia rosa, the sprinter will be keen to make his good form count in Luxembourg, where he'll have the support of fellow fast man André Greipel. Both riders have already recorded two wins so far this season, and will be keen to take more during the week.
Classics specialists Marcus Burghardt, Lorenzo Bernucci and Sergey Ivanov round out the roster in Luxembourg. While no comparisons can be drawn between the parcours in Luxemburg and the mountainous final week of the Giro, T-Mobile sporting director Brian Holm believes the race profile cannot be underestimated. "It's a constant up and down course with often quite steep and sharp ascents that require a different approach than the Dolomites," said Holm. Last year the Dane oversaw a very successful five days for T-Mobile crew at the UCI Cat 2 HC race, with Eric Baumann and classics specialist Bram Schmitz scoring a stage win each.
There will be 13 teams riding the Tour of Luxembourg, including six ProTour teams. Top Continental teams Wiesenhof-Akud, Unibet.com, Landbouwkrediet and Skil-Shimano also line up on Wednesday. "You underestimate the second division teams at your own peril. Just look at Agritubels success at the Bayern-Rundfahrt and Skil-Shimano's success at the Tour of Belgium," added Holm on his team's competition for the race.
T-Mobile's roster for the Tour of Luxembourg: Lorenzo Bernucci, Marcus Burghardt, André Greipel, Sergey Ivanov, Kim Kirchen, Olaf Pollack. Sporting director: Brian Holm