The 2006 season has already kicked-off for the T-Mobile team, with riders gathering together for the first time in Munich and Vienna. A team building session in Montafon/Austria gave the team a chance to tackle a few challenges in the Alps to develop team cohesion, along with two days of ergometric testing, meetings and a photoshoot in Munich for team captain Jan Ullrich and his 28 team-mates.
The team then travelled into the Alps for a two and half day team building session. Applying new methods to enhance communication, trust and the sharing of responsibility within the team, riders got to work in the mountains, with a strong focus on integrating the 12 new riders into the team fold. The motto for the session was "Action, reflection, transfer", with riders trekking up to the Lindauer cabin (1744 metres) through heavy snowfall, sharing a communal cooking session and constructing a ropeway to cross a canyon in freezing temperatures.
"We went into a lot of these challenges, thinking we would never manage it!" said Ullrich. "But everybody weighed in so that we devised the right strategy to achieve our goals. It was very motivating and is bound to help us in the coming season." New recruit Linus Gerdemann agreed: "Of course, we were already fully aware of the importance of teamwork. However, the exercises in the Alps brought home the importance of staying calm and communicating with each other in critical and hectic situations."