Deutschland Tour, Cat 2.4
Germany, May 28-June 3, 1999
Preview:The first Deutschland Tour began on Friday May 28 with Jan Ullrich preparing to show that he is now in very good form and was making his last preparations for the Tour de France, the only race he is really targetting this season. 25-year old Ullrich told the German press (the daily newspaper Bild) before the start of the race in Berlin that: "The preparations for the Tour really start now and I'm proud that it's happening in Germany. My form is better than it was at this time of the season last year. If I can avoid sickness I will be in good shape to go for victory in France."
Up until 1982 there was a race in Western Germany called the Deutschland Tour. But this year's event will be the first time since WW2 that a bike race will travel the breadth of unified Germany. East German Ullrich thinks that is a special occurence. He trained in his early days in East Berlin and said: "I'm looking forward to going there again."
The race is weakened because most of the top riders are battling it down south in the Giro. Ullrich is being listed as the favourite although he has no form to show up until now. The 1265 kms Tour is being organised by former professional Olaf Ludwig and he commented on Ullrich's progress: "In all the races from now on, his aim will be to prepare for the Tour, not to win. But he will have to show he's strong and so will his team."
The race is not without some big names (see full list below). 18 teams and 144 riders are participating and top names like Michele Bartoli, Franco Ballerini, Laurent Brochard and Pavel Tonkov are among them. The German Telekom team has sent a very strong team as a showcase of its talent in its own country. It includes Ullrich, Rolf Aldag, Jens Heppner, Erik Zabel and Udo Bölts. Zabel is aiming to clean up the stage sprints while Bölts will help Ullrich in the hills. The battle between Zabel and Belgian Tom Steels (Mapei-Quick Step) will be a highlight.
Complete Starting List:
Mapei-Quick Step Team Deutsche Telekom 1 Michele Bartoli (Ita) 11 Rolf Aldag (Ger) 2 Manuel Fernandez Gines (Spa) 12 Udo Bölts (Ger) 3 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) 14 Jens Heppner (Ger) 4 Johan Musseuw (Bel) 15 Jörg Jaksche (Ger) 5 Daniele Nardello (Ita) 17 Jan Ullrich (Ger) 6 Axel Merckx (Bel) 18 Erik Zabel (Ger) 7 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) 19 Jan Schaffrath (Ger) 8 Tom Steels (Bel) 20 Steffen Wesemann (Ger) Lampre-Daikin La Française des Jeux 21 Zbigniew Spruch (Pol) 31 Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) 22 Marco Serpellini (Ita) 32 Anthony Morin (Fra) 23 Ludo Dierckxens (Bel) 33 Lars Michaelsen (Den) 24 Johan Verstrepen (Bel) 34 Christophe Mengin (Fra) 26 Marco Pinotti (Ita) 35 Franck Perque (Fra) 28 Robert Hunter (RSA) 37 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) 29 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) 39 Jimmy Casper (Fra) 30 Gianluca Pianegonda (Ita) 40 Bradley McGee (Aus) Team Polti TVM-Farm Frites 41 Silvio Martinello (Ita) 51 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) 42 Cristian Salvato (Ita) 52 Servais Knaven (Ned) 43 Gianluca Valoti (Ita) 53 De Steven Jongh (Ned) 44 Simone Zucchi (Ita) 56 Tristan Hoffmann (Ned) 45 Stefano Cattai (Ita) 57 Remco Van der Ven (Ned) 48 Rossano Brasi (Ita) 58 Van Geert Bondt (Bel) 49 Daniel Atienza (Spa) 59 Sergei Ouchakov (Ukr) 50 Leonardo Guidi (Ita) 60 Bart Voskamp (Ned) Rabobank Team Gerolsteiner 61 Markus Zberg (Swi) 72 Scott McGrory (Aus) 62 Rolf Sörensen (Den) 73 Sascha Henrix (Ger) 63 Marc Lotz (Ned) 74 Volker Ordowski (Ger) 64 Grischa Niermann (Ger) 76 Michael Rich (Ger) 65 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) 77 Sven Teutenberg (Ger) 66 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) 78 Andreas Walzer (Ger) 67 Sven Nijs (Bel) 79 Thomas Mühlbacher (Aut) 68 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) 80 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Agro-Adler Brandenburg Team Nürnberger 81 Uwe Ampler (Ger) 91 Bert Dietz (Ger) 82 Andreas Kappes (Ger) 94 Thomas Liese (Ger) 83 Olaf Pollack (Ger) 95 Jörn Reuss (Ger) 84 Matthias Jandt (Ger) 96 Raphael Schweda (Ger) 85 Martin Müller (Ger) 97 Jürgen Werner (Ger) 86 Stephan Gottschling (Ger) 98 Jens Zemke (Ger) 87 Ole Simensen (Nor) 99 Roland Müller (Swi) 88 Patrick Köhler (Ger) 100 Christian Van Dartel (Ned) Team Cologne Die Continentale Olympia 101 Davy Dubbeldam (Ger) 111 Artour Babaitsev (Rus) 102 Bert Grabsch (Ger) 112 Andreas Beikirch (Ger) 103 Ralf Grabsch (Ger) 113 Hans-Kurt Brand (Swi) 105 Raymond Meijs (Ned) 114 Christian Wegmann (Ger) 106 Jans Koerts (Ned) 115 Nick Gates (Aus) 107 Michael Schlickau (Ger) 117 Ronny Lauke (Ger) 109 Erwin Thiys (Bel) 119 Jason Phillips (Aus) 110 Michael Van der Wolf (Ned) 120 Heinrich Trumheller (Ger) Team EC/Bayer Team Home-Jack & Jones 121 Alexander Aeschbach (Swi) 131 Marc Streel (Bel) 122 Mario Bolz (Ger) 132 Michael Kyneb (Den) 123 Bastian Büffel (Ger) 133 Christian Andersen (Den) 124 Bekim Christensen (Den) 134 Arvis Piziks (Lat) 125 Boris Godo (Ger) 135 126 Michael Skelde (Den) 136 Michael Blaudzun (Den) 127 Lars Teutenberg (Ger) 139 Rene Jörgensen (Den) 129 Raphael Otto (Ger) 140 Michael Rosborg (Den) Team Chicky World Vlaanderen 2002 141 Torsten Schmidt (Ger) 151 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) 142 Martin Rittsel (Swe) 152 Glenn D'Hollander (Bel) 143 Steffen Kjaergaard (Nor) 153 Kris Gerits (Bel) 144 Svein Gaute Hölestöl (Nor) 155 Tom Stremersch (Bel) 145 Dennis Rasmussen (Den) 156 Kristof Trouve (Bel) 146 Allan Johansen (Den) 157 Kurt Van Lancker (Bel) 147 Bjarke Nielsen (Den) 158 Steve Vermaut (Bel) 148 Nicki Sörensen (Den) 159 Davy Daniels (Bel) Post Swiss Team Festina-Lotus 161 Roger Beuchat (Swi) 171 Laurent Brochard (Fra) 162 Bruno Boscardin (Swi) 172 Felix M. Garcia Casas (Spa) 163 Pierre Bourquenoud (Swi) 173 Pascal Herve (Fra) 164 Philipp Buschor (Swi) 174 Franz Hotz (Swi) 165 Rolf Järmann (Swi) 175 Rolf Huser (Swi) 167 Daniel Schnider (Swi) 176 Alexandre Moos (Swi) 168 Patrick Vetsch (Swi) 177 Didier Rous (Fra) 169 Guido Wirz (Swi) 178 Andrea Dolci (Ita)