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Gerolsteiner looks back

The Tour is over, long live the soon as the 2006 edition is over, Gerolsteiner's team manager Hans-Michael Holczer is starting to think about the Tour 2007. Levi Leipheimer, who rode a comparatively weak Tour, barely figures in the team's wrap-up, but that may also have something to do with his departure to Discovery. "Markus Fothen has shown that he is the man for the future," declared Holczer.

Fothen, who narrowly missed winning the white jersey for the best young rider, was the main character in Gerolsteiner's Tour review. "It shows that we have good young riders in Germany. And especially Markus," said Holczer. "Markus just needs to get experience with the Grand Tours." And to accomplish that, "At his own request, he will ride the Vuelta a España."

Fabian Wegmann wore the mountain jersey for one day, Fothen the white jersey for 13 days, and Fothen finished 15th overall, two places behind Levi Leipheimer. Despite Leipheimer being the best on GC, both he and Totschnig did not live up to expectations.

"We can be satisfied with that. If we had won the white jersey, we could have been very satisfied," according to Holczer, who noted that "We narrowly missed a stage win several times." For example, Leipheimer's second place in the 11th stage, Sebastian Lang's third place in the first time trial, or Ronny Scholz' third on stage 18.

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