Tour de France stage winner and yellow jersey holder Linus Gerdemann will lead T-Mobile Team in its homeland race, the Deutschland Tour, while Erik Zabel will spearhead his Team Milram squad's campaign at the German event. Professional Continental squad Wiesenhof has also announced its roster for the event, which gets underway this Friday, with Steffen Wesemann, who finished third in this year's Paris-Roubaix, leading the squad.
"Linus showed at the Tour what he is capable of and he will be hoping to follow up on that at the Deutschland Tour," T-Mobile directeur sportif Allen Peiper said. "Linus is still only 24, so it will be important for the team to see how he fares after the efforts of the Tour. Plus, it is his home race and there will be a lot of pressure on him now." The young German is currently suffering from a cold but is expected to be well again by Friday.
The key stage in the race will be the fifth and Queen stage, which ends with a mountaintop finish on the Rettenbachferner Glacier in Austria. Gerdemann's main support on that stage is expected to be veteran climber Giuseppe Guerini. "Giuseppe will try to keep Linus to keep up there with the best climbers on the glacier. If Linus can do well on that stage he has a chance to make a top-ten finish," Pieper noted.
There are only a few sprint stages in the Tour, and T-Mobile is well prepared for them. T-Mobile's Gerald Ciolek and Andre Greipel have both won sprints in recent races, and will be supported again by Thomas Ziegler, who led them to those wins, but the pair will face stiff competition in Zabel.
T-Mobile's Deutschland Tour roster: Lorenzo Bernucci, Gerald Ciolek, Linus Gerdemann, Andre Greipel, Giuseppe Guerini, Andreas Klier, Marco Pinotti, and Thomas Ziegler.
Wiesenhof's Deutschland Tour roster: Steffen Wesemann, Andre Schulze, Steffen Radochla, Robert Wagner, Christian Leben, Torsten Schmidt, Olaf Pollack and Peter Velits.
Team Milram's Deutschland Tour roster: Erik Zabel, Elia Rigotto, Sebastian Siedler, Fabio Sacchi, Ralf Grabsch, Martin Mueller, Bjoern Schroeder, and Niki Terpstra.
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