Giling in for injured Klier
Steffen Wesemann will spearhead the eight-man T-Mobile line-up in Sunday's 103rd Paris-Roubaix. The veteran classics specialist, who abandoned the Tour of Flanders because of illness, skipped Wednesday's Gent-Wevelgem to dedicate more time for intensive training sessions with his coach Thomas Schediwie.
Paris Roubaix will be a baptism of fire for the young Dutch neo-pro Bas Giling, who will make his ProTour debut in the 259 km Hell of the North. Giling is stepping in for the injured Andreas Klier. The in-form Klier crashed out of Gent-Wevelgem on Wednesday and his injuries have forced the hands of the team management.
"Bas has turned in some great performances in recent weeks and he has earned his call up," said the team's director Mario Kummer. "We have total confidence in him." The 22-year-old Giling is not a complete newcomer to Paris-Roubaix. He was only narrowly beaten into second place in the U23 race there last season.
Joining 'Wese' and Giling for the cobbled torture test in France's bleak north-east are Rolf Aldag, Sergey Ivanov, Stephan Schreck, Marcus Burghardt and the sprint duo of Eric Baumann and Erik Zabel.
Burghardt is the second neo-pro in the magenta roster. The 21 year-old Saxon - the youngest of the 27 riders on T-Mobile's books - has been turning in consistently strong performances in the last months. And he is also no stranger to the cruel demands of the 'Queen of the Classics' either. The young gun finished fourth behind Giling is last year's U23 event.
The T-Mobile roster: Rolf Aldag, Eric Baumann, Marcus Burghardt, Bas Giling, Sergey Ivanov, Stephan Schreck, Steffen Wesemann and Erik Zabel.