Linus Gerdemann, who held the yellow jersey for a day on this year's Tour de France, is hoping to win this year's Tour of Germany and restore some pride to German cycling, which has been battered by a succession of doping storms.
Having won a stage in this year's Tour de France, the 24-year-old is full of confidence for his home country's event which starts in Saarbrücken on Friday and runs till the following Saturday. "I have felt good since the end of the Tour and I think I can do something special here," said the T-Mobile rider.
The reputation of cycling in Germany has been badly tarnished since team-mate Patrik Sinkewitz was found to have high levels of testosterone in his blood and German TV stations boycotted their Tour de France coverage.
"All that business affected my performance in the middle of the Tour, it is troublesome of course, but it shows that doping controls work and in the future cycling will be clean again," said Gerdemann which discovered on Thursday that T-Mobile will continue their sponsorship until 2010.
Compatriot Jan Ullrich, a former Tour de France champion, was sacked by T-Mobile last July after he was linked to a doping scandal in Spain.
Amongst the favourites to win the eight-day Tour of Germany are Gerdemann, Gerolsteiner rider Davide Rebellin of Italy, Germany's Erik Zabel, who races for Milram and last season's winner German Jens Voigt, who rides for Danish team CSC.
© AFP 2007