Alexandre Vinokourov and Steffen Wesemann will lead the T-Mobile team for the Bayern-Rundfahrt (Tour of Bavaria) which runs Wednesday May 25 to Sunday May 29. According to the team, Vinokourov is using the five-day race as the first serious competitive test in his preparation for this year's Tour de France.
After winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege Classic, Vinokourov returned to his native Kazakhstan, to relax and then start his build-up for the Tour. He has spent the past week at a training camp on Tenerife and is ready to test himself in competition. "I am feeling good right now. Let's see if the training at an altitude of 2000m pays off."
For Wesemann, it's the start of the second phase of his season, a series of shorter stage racers. Vinokourov and Wesemann will be joined by Andreas Klöden, making his return to racing after a four-week break. But Klöden is not planning to try and match or improve on his 2004 second place in Bavaria, behind CSC's Jens Voigt.
"I am not gunning for a high GC finish," said Klöden. "I want to get race miles into my legs. But having said that, if I feel that I have the right sensations in my legs on any given day, then I will go for it."
Vinokourov, Wesemann and Klöden will be supported by Italian climber Giuseppe Guerini and Andreas Klier. The squad is rounded out by rookie pros Bas Giling and Berhard Kohl.
"We will be riding on the offensive from the get-go in the Bayern-Rundfahrt," said T-Mobile Team sporting manager Frans van Looy, who is confident that his charges are in good shape for the challenge ahead. "They have all been training well, are in good health and are highly motivated," he said.