It will be a busy week for the T-Mobile team, competing at the UCI International Team Time Trial event in Eindhoven (June 18) while also sending a squad to ride the Subida a Naranco (June 14) and the Vuelta a Asturias (June 16-20) throughout Spain.
T-Mobile starts Sunday's event in Eindhoven with seven riders instead of eight, after Bram Schmitz was forced to withdraw. The Dutchman has a nasty bout of diarrhoea and will miss the latest ProTour race, which disappoints the Dutchman as he lives just five kilometres from the race route, in Aalst-Waalre.
"Of course I am disappointed. I was really looking forward to the race, especially as so many friends and relations had promised to come out and support me," said Schmitz, who also rode the event last season. Olaf Pollack and Frantisek Rabon now lead the T-Mobile challenge on the 45km course in and around Eindhoven. André Korff, Jörg Ludewig, Stephan Schreck, Daniele Nardello and Dutchman Bas Giling round out the seven-man roster.
T-Mobile sporting director Frans van Looy said the team will be aiming for the win, albeit one man down. "We will be going flat-out on the scorching fast course," he said. "But as we are a man short, we will have to rely on team cohesion on Sunday."
Tour candidates Serhiy Honchar and Oscar Sevilla lead the T-Mobile Team at the 50th Vuelta a Asturias, which starts and finishes in the regional capital of Oviedo. The experienced duo, in northern Spain to sharpen their form ahead of the Tour de France, will also be eyeing a place on the GC podium at the 868km category 2.1 race.
But before that they'll ride Wednesdays Subida a Naranco (cat. 1.1), where both Honchar and Sevilla will be able to show more glimpses of their current good form from recent weeks. Sevilla finished 11th overall at the Dauphiné Libéré and enjoyed strong performances over the Cols de Galibier and Izoard; while Honchar impressed at last months Giro d'Italia, where he spent two days in the race leader's pink jersey before being forced to abandon due to a crash. The 35-year-old is now fit and targeting a top ten finish in Asturias.
T-Mobile will be looking to sprinter André Greipel to take something on the flat stages, and Thomas Ziegler will also be looking for any opportunity to take a stage win during the five days.
T-Mobile for International Team Time Trial in Eindhoven: Bas Giling, André Korff, Jörg Ludewig, Daniele Nardello, Olaf Pollack, Frantisek Rabon, Stephan Schreck. Sporting director: Frans van Looy
T-Mobile for Vuelta a Asturias: Serhiy Honchar, Oscar Sevilla, André Greipel, Thomas Ziegler, Sergey Ivanov, Andreas Klier, Steffen Wesemann, Matthias Kessler.
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