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Schumacher looking to double Olympic challenge

Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) won both TT's in the Tour, and now hopes continue this way in Beijing

Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) won both TT's in the Tour, and now hopes continue this way in Beijing (Image credit: AFP)

Stefan Schumacher of Team Gerolsteiner was one of the sensations of the Tour de France, winning both time trials handily and often going on the attack. His next challenge are the Olympic Games in Beijing, where he will contest both the road race and the time trial for the German team.

Schumacher himself didn't know if he would be able to hold on to his level of fitness for another two weeks. "I will be interested to see if I can hold my form. Of course I hope so," he told German Radsportnews.

The Gerolsteiner rider foresaw some difficulties for himself in China. "How I cope with the weather in Beijing will play a very important role. It is no secret that I am not a friend of temperatures around 40° Celsius." He was also worried about the air quality and hoped "that a week is long enough to acclimatise myself." The German team flies to China today.

When asked for which team he will ride next year, 'Schumi' responded with a laugh: "Whatever the next sponsor after Gerolsteiner is. But seriously, I hope this question won't have to be answered - and that Hans Holczer finds a sponsor. That would be important. Not only for the team, but for all of German cycling."

Schumacher surprised even himself with his performance near the end of the Tour, as he had initially focused on the first week of the race. "In the third week I was quite surprised myself at my form. Until now, I fairly often had problems in the third week of a Grand Tour. But I am not upset that it was different this year."

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