With Michael Rogers already talking to T-Mobile, his Quick Step team-mate Patrik Sinkewitz is now re
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The man who will take over from Walter Godefroot as T-Mobile general manager in 2005, Olaf Ludwig, confirmed on Friday afternoon that he is in advanced negotiations to entice German wunderkind Patrik Sinkewitz away from his current home at Quick-Step.
Ludwig revealed to procycling that he has already made an offer to Sinkewitz’s manager, Tony Rominger, and hopes to receive a response within days or even hours. Earlier in the afternoon, asked to comment on rumours that he could team up with Jan Ullrich at T-Mobile next year, Sinkewitz sighed wearily, “This is not the first time [that this rumour has come up]. It’s all made up, there’s nothing in the story.”
Ludwig suggested later that the contrary was true. “I have spoken to Tony Rominger, Patrik’s manager, and I am now waiting for a reply,” Ludwig admitted. “The fact that we’ve moved before the Tour tells you that we don’t need to see how Patrik rides here. Now we’ll see if Patrik accepts our offer.”
Sinkewitz will line up in his first Tour de France on Saturday as the Quick-Step team’s deputy leader behind Aussie Michael Rogers, with whom Sinkewitz is sharing a room at the Tour. T-Mobile have also been negotiating a big money move for Rogers. “Usually, two days before a race you’re quietly tucked away at home, whereas here the eyes of the world are on us already,” said a slightly overawed Sinkewitz this evening. “I have great respect for this race and, although I lack experience over three weeks, I hope that I can take advantage of the freedom I should have in the mountains and finish well overall.”
If the signing of the Quick Step pair is confirmed, one rider who could be heading out to make way for them is Matthias Kessler. He is reported to be in very advanced negotiations with Gerolsteiner.