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Gerolsteiner presentation: "When we win the Tour i will walk from Paris"

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17.01.2006 "When we win the Tour i will walk from Paris", Hans-Michael Holczer said this after the presentation of the Gerolsteiner squad. He will walk with pr manager Matthias Wieland. They planned 22, maximum  23 days for this "Tour to Gerolstein." Captain Levi Leipheimer wants a place on the stage. He thinks he can achieve a top 3 spot in Paris (read our interview with Levi Leipheimer - published later today!)

Copyright: Cyclingheroes
Gerolsteiner team 2006 (picture: Cyclingheroes)

In 2005 the Gerolsteiner team has won 23 races. The came eye to eye with T-Mobile in Germany. With Davide Rebellin (third place) and Levi Leipheimer (seventh) the team had 2 riders in the top ten of the individual Protour ranking. In the team ranking they achieved a sixth place. The readers of the German magazin "Procycling" have choosen the Gerolsteiner squad as the best team of 2005 in a poll last month.
 
Manager Hans-Michael Holczer is not affraid for the future of German cycling. We will continue with our concept and give young riders the freedom they need.
 
The team has four new riders in the 2006 season. The 22 year old Thomas Fothen followed his brother Markus to Gerolsteiner. The 27 year old David Kopp came from Wiesenhof and is after his victory in "Rund um Köln" (around Cologn, Germany`s oldest cycling race) one of Gerolsteiners riders for the classics. Stefan Schumacher (24 years old) came from the Dutch Shimano team and Thorsten Hiekmann (25) came from T-Mobile.
 
On changing to the Gerolsteiner team David Kopp saw a dream come true. The words tumbled out of him:"When i think of the time a few years ago when i almost chucked my career out of frustration and when i now think that i can start for an absolut top team at the world`s largest and greatest races - it`s simply wonderful."

Copyright: Cyclingheroes
David Kopp (picture: Cyclingheroes)

Markus Fothen is one of the biggest talents in Germany. After his twelfth place in the overall of the 2005 Giro d'italia, his first grand tour, he has bigger plans: " i`m currently implementing my development plan for my great dream of standing on the podium in Paris." This year he will assist his two captains during the Tour de France.

Copyright: Cyclingheroes
Markus Fothen (picture: Cyclingheroes)

Four riders have left the team. Uwe Peschel retired after the 2005 season and Danilo Hondo was sacked after doping charges. Thorsten Schmidt is moved to Wiesenhof-Akud and Thomas Ziegler will ride for T-Mobile in the upcoming season.
 
Team manager Holczer think his decision was right to go for more than one of the season`s highlights.

Copyright: Cyclingheroes
Davide Rebellin and Georg Totschnig during the presentation (picture Cyclingheroes)

The three captains of the Gerolsteiner team have some great plans for 2006.
 
Michael Rich wants to win a few timetrails and play a role in the overall of some of the minor tours. The 36 years old rider will retire after the upcoming season.
 
Italian rider davide Rebellin wants to win the individual ranking of the Protour. Again the classical hilly one-day races are at the heart of his objectives.
 
Austrian rider Georg Totschnig had the greatest victory of his career, he managed to win a mountain stage during the Tour de France 2005 and he was honoured with the title of sportspersonality of the year in Austria. In the coming season he wants to play a role in the general classification of the Tour de France again. He will form a dual leudership with Levi Leipheimer who wants to go for a top 3 spot in this years Tour de France.

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