German T-Mobile team is still hoping for its first victory on European ground this current season. The magenta squad has scored two stage wins in the Tour of California earlier in the year - both achieved by sprinter Olaf Pollack - but hasn't yet made that breakthrough win on "home" turf it is looking for. Similar to last year, where the outfit also had to wait until Liége-Bastogne-Liège for one of its riders, namely Alexandre Vinokourov, to represent T-Mobile on podium spot #1, the German squad is longing for a morale boost.
But it is already well under way, as shown by recent results in the Spring Classics. The team always ends up placing one or several riders on the podium or in the top ten of the classification, which would indicate that a victory is just a question of time. In Wednesday's Flèche Wallonne, three T-Mobile riders made a strong showing: Patrik Sinkewitz came in fifth on the Mur de Huy and Russian teammate Sergey Ivanov placed ninth, followed by Matthias Kessler.
Sports director Valerio Piva was satisfied with the result. "Just like at Amstel Gold Race, it was our goal to ride offensively and aggressively from the very beginning to bring our top riders in a prospective position in the finale," Piva said. "We achieved this. It was a great performance of the team."
In the final ascent in Huy, Patrick Sinkewitz managed to hold onto the leading riders the longest. "We tried to attack all the time to get in a good position," said Sinkewitz, who changed from Quick.Step to T-Mobile this year. "It wasn't quite sufficient for a victory, but we can still be satisfied with our performance."