In an interview with German cycling website Radsport Aktiv, Jan Ullrich gave some answers about the end of his season and the beginning of the next, where his aim is still the same as ever: to win the Tour de France once more.
"The season was long and hard," Ullrich replied when asked why he had ended his racing schedule before the last ProTour events were over. "Moreover, I've been actively involved in the planning of next season. And it's very important that I stop sooner in order to start the preparations sooner, too!"
Ullrich, who knows that he's "not getting any younger", said that his preparation for 2006 also included the assistance of the 'Medical Park' Clinics in Bavaria, where he will start a special preparation programme for next year as of November 1. "When I need them, that's where I can find the experts, the instruments and the surroundings to regenerate," he said. "In the clinics, I can recharge the batteries and find new ways of getting the best out of my body."
'Der Kaiser' is also happy that Rudy Pevenage, who was banned from the team due to a disagreement with former T-Mobile director and friend Walter Godefroot, will be back as directeur sportif next year. "It's very important for me that Rudy is part of the team again. He's one of the best team directors in the world. I'm very happy that we can take advantage of his experience and that there is a clear direction."
The T-Mobile squad, with reshuffled management and roster next season, will surely need just that to achieve its aims. Its star rider and captain is confident his newly signed teammates will be a perfect addition to the team. "I'm satisfied with the new riders, as they include some of my favourites. Michael Rogers proved his worth with his victory at the World's recently. Sinkewitz, Mazzoleni, Bernucci, Kirchen, Gonchar - the team has an excellent roster for next season," Ullrich added.
Further asked what his goals were looking ahead, the German replied, "To ride a good Tour, and then we'll see. My dream is to win the Road World Championships once, but right now I only think until July 2006!"
But first and foremost, Ullrich will go on a holiday. "Three weeks in the sun, and I won't say more about it," were his words to conclude the conversation.
The German T-Mobile team roster changes are as follows:
Arrivals: Lorenzo Bernucci (Fassa Bortolo), Scott Davis (Tenax), Sergey Gontchar (Domina Vacanze), André Greipel (Wiesenhof), Kim Kirchen (Fassa Bortolo), Jörg Ludewig (Domina Vacanze), Eddy Mazzoleni (Lampre), Michael Rogers (Quick.Step), Patrik Sinkewitz (Quick.Step), Thomas Ziegler (Gerolsteiner).
Departures: Torsten Hiekmann (unknown), Tomas Konecny (unknown), Paco Lara (unknown), Jan Schaffrath (Milram-Domina Vacanze), Alexander Vinokourov (Liberty Seguros), Christian Werner (unknown), Sergey Yakovlev (Liberty Seguros), Erik Zabel (Milram-Domina Vacanze).
Retiring: Rolf Aldag and Tobias Steinhauser.