Gerolsteiner's Robert Förster & Matthias Ruß will start their season at Tour Down Under

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16.01.2008/  Robert Förster and Matthias Ruß both start their season at Australia's Tour Down Under. The Gerolsteiner riders spoke with German based website Förster's main goal is the Tour de France, while Matthias Ruß will have his first highlight at Paris-Nice. "We all go into the new season with the necessary seriousness."

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Matthias Ruß wants to shine at Paris-Nice... (© Cyclingheroes)

Matthias Ruß told "Its the first time that I will race in Australia. Its also the first pro race that I will race in January." The climber does not think that the diffent timezone will be problematic for him: "For three years I got used to the new timezone very fast. I don't see a problem here." Ruß uses the Tour Down Under to bring himself in form and sees the race as training under racing conditions: "I want to get in shape for the spring races. Paris-Nice will be my first highlight."

Robert Förster told "We will look into it. It will be a first small test to see how my form is. Although it is the first Pro-Tour race I see it as a 'preparation' race." Förster doesn't just want to roll with the pack: "At the finishes that suit us we will of course try to race at the front."

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Robert förster wants an early win.. (© Cyclingheroes)

Förster wants to race the Tour Down Under without pressure but in the weeks after that he wants to get his first win: "The sooner you can achieve that, the better. I would like to win a stage at the Mallorca Challenge or the Tour of Algarve at the latest."

The rest of the season of the German sprinter will be focused on the Tour de France: "I will prepare at the Giro again. I was always in form there and I have won stages in the last two years." Förster knows what role he has at Gerolsteiner: "I see myself as the number one sprinter at the team. Although Heinrich Haussler is also very fast. But he is stronger at races that are more difficult. When I have the right form I am the number one at the flat sprints. We complement one another very well."

Förster doesn't want to put additional pressure on him because the team needs a new sponsor for 2009: "It doesn't leave me cold but we just want to get the best out of us, just like we did in the last couple of years. But we all go into the new season with the necessary seriousness."

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Team Gerolsteiner roster 2008
Robert Förster (29), Markus Fothen (26), Thomas Fothen (24), Johannes Frohlinger (22), Oscar Gatto (23), Heinrich Haussler (22), Tim Klinger (22), Bernhard Kohl (25), Sven Krauss (24), Sebastian Lang (28), Andrea Moletta (28), Volker Ordowski (34), Davide Rebellin (36), Matthias Russ (24 ans), Ronny Scholz (29), Stefan Schumacher (26), Tom Stamsnijder (22), Fabian Wegmann (27), Carlo Westphal (22), Peter Wrolich (33), Markus Zberg (33), Oliver Zaugg (26), Stephan Schreck (29), Francesco de Bonis (25), Mathias Frank (21)

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