After another extensive training camp in South Africa, Jan Ullrich is travelling back to Germany on Monday, February 20. Together with T-Mobile teammates Andreas Klöden, Matthias Kessler and Giuseppe Guerini, the 1997 Tour de France winner enjoyed the warm weather of Cape Town to train five to six hours a day. Whereas 2004 Tour de France second-places Klöden will take up racing again at the GP Chiasso on February 25, the when and where of Ullrich's return to the international peloton is yet to be decided.
"We want him to be able to really dig in there when he starts racing again - we want him to do more than just to roll along with the bunch," said T-Mobile director Rudy Pevenage, who accompanied the riders in South Africa. Ullrich's next stop will instead be another training camp in Tuscany, beginning on March 1. His main rival in July, Team CSC's Ivan Basso, will line up for the first time in 2006 at Tirreno Adriatico on March 8. Another contender for the first French Grand Tour after Lance Armstrong, Alexandre Vinokourov, is scheduled to start in Paris-Nice on March 5.