Recently turned Swiss rider Steffen Wesemann will lead the T-Mobile team at the 92nd edition of the Championship of Zurich on Sunday. 'Wese' who collected his Swiss passport a fortnight ago, just in time to represent the Alpine nation at last week's World Championships, now races in his new homeland for the first time as a naturalised Swiss citizen.
The Championship of Zurich, also called the Züri Metzgete, is a race with a long history and a tough parcours and is now a round of the UCI ProTour. T-Mobile's directeur sportif Mario Kummer has selected a mix of classics specialists and stage racers. Like Wesemann, Daniele Nardello will start the 241km race full of ambition. The 33 year-old Italian pulled off one of the biggest wins of his career here in 2003, when eight kilometres from the finish he jumped clear of a select leading group to solo home.
The experienced duo will be supported by the wily Rolf Aldag, Russian champion Sergey Ivanov, Matthias Kessler, Torsten Hiekmann, Oscar Sevilla and neo-pro Marcus Burghardt, who together with Sevilla impressed with a solid ride in this month's Vuelta.
"The course doesn't have too many serious climbs, but the profile will still best suit the climbers," said Kummer, who sees Sevilla, in particular, as capable of a good final placing. "He showed with his seventh place in the Vuelta that he is still in form this late in the season."