T-Mobile's Azzuri and "Klinsi's boys"

Now that the Tour has finally gotten underway, Team T-Mobile might have thought it could put its troubles behind itself and concentrate on cycling. but it's not to be -- matters of far greater importance are threatening to spit the seven-man Tour team, and it's all going to come to a head Tuesday night.

That's when the tip-off of the first semi-final game of the World Cup will happen, between Germany and Italy. And it so happens that the T-Mobile cyclists are all fans of, you guessed it, Germany or Italy. Giuseppe Guerini and Eddy Mazzoleni lead the Italian faction, and are joined by Mick Rogers and Serhiy Honchar, both of whom have lived for years in Italy. The four are "sure the Azzuri will have the upper hand in the end," writes Andreas Klöden.

But he's not ready to give in so easily. "They shouldn't count their chickens, is all I can say to that!" he declares. He, Mattias Kessler and Patrik Sinkewitz will support the home German team, cheering "Klinsi's boys" on. (And no doubt they will be joined by various support staff members.)

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