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Gerolsteiner riders arrive without bikes and bags

By Susan Westemeyer

Five Gerolsteiner riders flew from Mallorca to Madrid to Pisa on Thursday – but their luggage and bikes didn't. "We had to change plans in Madrid. And everything that was on the plane from Palm somehow got left in Madrid," according to sprinter Robert Förster. He, Thomas Fothen, Matthias Russ, Volker Ordeowski and Carlo Westphal will have to make do Thursday night with what they had in their carry-on baggage.

The situation was actually more critical for Förster than for the other four. "I was named to the race only at the last minute, so the mechanics will first have to put a bike together for me. The others have their reserve bikes already here in Italy." He added with a grin, "That just means they can pick up a toothbrush and toothpaste for me when they make their training ride this afternoon."

The lost bags and bikes are expected to arrive in Italy around mid-day Friday.

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