Tour de France: Milram finalises lineup, former Maillot Blanc-wearer Fothen left out
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Tour de France: Milram finalises lineup, former Maillot Blanc-wearer Fothen left out

by VeloNation Press at 2:35 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Wegmann, Roberts and Kuge complete team

Thomas FothenFormer Tour de France white jersey wearer Marcus Fothen will miss this year’s Tour de France, after his Milram team decided against sending the 28 year old to the race.

The team has opted for a squad spearheaded by previously-announced captains Linus Gerdemann, who won a stage and wore yellow in 2007, as well as former world under 23 champion Gerald Ciolek.

It confirmed today that past German champion Fabian Wegmann, the Australian Luke Roberts and first-time Tour rider Roger Kluge would join the previously-announced squad members Gerdemann, Ciolek, Christian Knees, Johannes Fröhlinger, Niki Terpstra and Thomas Rohregger.

Fothen and Belgian Roy Sentjens have been named as reserves.

“Since we are concentrating even more this year on stage wins, we had to decide against Markus Fothen,” said team manager Gerry van Gerwen. “This decision was not easy. We also have to do without Roy Sentjens, who was injured at the Criterium du Dauphine. Unfortunately he was unable to recommend himself with a good performance at the Ster Elektrotoer. But after Fothen, he is our second reserve rider.”

Fothen held the white jersey for 13 stages in the 2006 Tour de France, finally losing it to Damiano Cunego, who beat him by 38 seconds. While Cunego has continued to have a successful career, Fothen has never really built on that early ride, which saw him finish 15th overall. He was fourth into Vittel in last year’s Tour de France, and this season was tenth overall in the Tour Down Under plus seventeenth in Tirreno-Adriatico.

Missing the Tour de France team underlines that he hasn’t been able to make the most out of his ability. Still, the team has faith in the riders it named today, and expects good performances from each.

“Fabian Wegmann was actually set for the Tour,” said Van Gerwen. “He did well in his test at the Tour de Suisse and has no physical complaints.” He has had a mixed season; high points include victory in the Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt, while setbacks include a broken collarbone sustained in the Tirreno-Adriatico, plus an injury-provoked withdrawal from the Giro d’Italia.

Roberts is set to ride his second Tour, having previously competed in 2005 with Team CSC. He was seventh on stage 18.

Kluge is making his Tour debut in the same year that he turned professional. The 24 year old was second in the points race at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and is likely to be part of the core support team for Ciolek in the bunch sprints.

“Roger is getting a huge chance for a young racer,” said Van Gerwen. “With his abilities, he will be a big help to us especially in the first week of the Tour, with its many flat stages.”

The 2010 Tour de France begins in Rotterdam on July 3rd and ends three weeks later in the Champs Elysées in Paris.



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