After finishing second at the Tour de France, Andreas Kloeden seems to want more freedom. But is he
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Stories in this morning’s papers in both Spain and France are reporting that T-Mobile’s Andreas Kloeden has been speaking to at least two Spanish teams and perhaps also Gerolsteiner about a possible move. The 29-year-old German, who finished second in the Tour de France in July, appears to want more opportunities to ride for himself rather than having to work for T-Mobile leader Jan Ullrich. Illes Balears and Liberty Seguros have both admitted interest in Kloeden. Both teams still need to fill their 25-man rosters for next season’s Pro Tour and both sponsors are keen to raise their profile in Germany, particularly Illes Balears for whom Germany is a huge tourist market. Illes Balears’ team manager Eusebio Unzue made no secret of the fact that his team is actively looking for German riders to fill some of the seven or eight slots they have available on their 2005 roster, particularly as they are releasing their two current German riders, Steffen Radochla and Daniel Becke. Unzue did deny, however, that Kloeden is the type of rider they are after, perhaps because of the high wage they would have to pay him. Liberty boss Manolo Saiz is in a similar situation. “Our talks with him are still going on and he does really interest us, but his financial demands are too high,” he told L’Equipe. Despite the meetings and conjecture, it still seems Kloeden’s most likely home next season will be the T-Mobile team he’s shone so spectacularly for this season. It could be that talking to other teams is simply Kloeden’s way of raising his existing wage.