By Susan Westemeyer
T-Mobile Team is sending 13 riders to the five day Mallorca Challenge, the team announced Thursday. It will mark the season debut of Linus Gerdemann, Giuseppe Guerini, Andre Korff, Patrik Sinkewitz and Thomas Ziegler. The rest of the squad will arrive in Mallorca after riding either the Tour of Qatar or the Etoile de Besseges in France.
"The race's main purpose is to get our Classics specialists fitter for their upcoming tasks," said manager Valerio Piva. "After riding at high speeds on the flat course in Qatar, the different terrain in the tour stages will offer the best pre-conditioning to test out their form for the spring."
The team will not concentrate on the overall standings, but will instead go for stage wins. "We have a large contingent of pros and want to give everyone the chance of showing what they're capable of," Piva noted. "That means 'Die Mannschaft' (the team) will always be able to show a new face."
The race will also be the debut of Jan Schaffrath, who rode with Telekom/T-Mobile from 1997 to 2005 and returns as an assistant team manager for T-mobile this year.
T-Mobile for the Mallorca Challenge: Eric Baumann, Lorenzo Bernucci, Marcus Burghardt, Scott Davis, Bernhard Eisel, Linus Gerdemann, Giuseppe Guerini, Bert Grabsch, Andreas Klier, Servais Knaven, Andre Korff, Patrik Sinkewitz, and Thomas Ziegler.