Rogers and Sinkewitz confirmed for T-Mobile
With the transfer of ever-aggressive Kazahki Alexandre Vinokourov to Liberty Seguros now public knowledge, the 31 year-old explained his reasons for leaving T-Mobile after six successful years.
"My goal is clear, I want to win the Tour de France," said Vinokourov on t-mobile-team.com. "So I chose the team with the best arguments. It's [Liberty Seguros] the most organised and the most experienced team. They have the best riders in the mountains and are among the bests in the team time trials. It was a natural choice."
Vino finished fifth overall in the 2005 Tour, as well as winning two stages, including the final hurrah on the Champs Elsyées, for which he will long be remembered for. But he now has his eyes totally focused on the bigger picture of winning overall.
"We have discussed my programme for 2006. I've had the guarantee I will be able to fully focus on the Tour de France," he said.
Although T-Mobile team manager Olaf Ludwig concedes Vinokourov is an irreplaceable rider, the team has confirmed 25 year-old world time trial champion Michael Rogers and 24 year-old German Patrik Sinkewitz have been recruited for next year, both currently riding for Quick.Step-Innergetic. "These engagements are all about looking ahead," said Ludwig.