Team Milram in the Centenary Giro d'Italia
Förster, Fothen and Rohregger expected to bring needed success in Italy.
This coming Saturday Team Milram will be at the start of the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia (May 9-31/UCI Category HIS). While Robert Förster and Markus Fothen will have stage wins as their main goal and responsibility, Milram's climber Thomas Rohregger will focus on the overall rankings. During the 3,450 kilometers, Directeurs Sportif Vittorio Algeri and Ralf Grabsch will also look to Germans Thomas Fothen, Martin Müller, Matthias Ruß, Ronny Scholz and Björn Schröder, as well as Italian Luca Barla for support.
"I have made a lot of plans for the Giro and hope for a good placing in the overall ranking,“ said Thomas Rohregger, who will be making his debut at the three-week Italian race. "I am totally healthy and felt strong at the Tour de Romandie. In addition, I will be especially motivated for the stages which go through my Tyrolian homeland. The Giro is my first Grand Tour and is certainly a highlight for every rider,“ said the winner of the 2008 Tour of Austria.
The two stage-chasers Robert Förster and Markus Fothen can look back on less-than-perfect preparations for the Giro 2009. Markus Fothen had to drop out of the Tour de Romandie with a viral infection, "which knocked me out for two days, but which is totally gone now.“ Fothen will be "100 percent fit at the start.“ Things went similarly for Robert Förster, who couldn't start the Tour die Romandie because of the flu. But he is over his illness, too, so that Förster can hope for another successful Giro as in 2007. In that year, for his then-Team Gerolsteiner, he was able to celebrate two stage wins, the third and fifth stages.
The 2009 Giro starts on Saturday, May 9, with a team time trial of 20.5 kilometers in the city of Venice. In honor of the race's 100th anniversary, all of the stage cities of the premiere edition of the race in 1909 will be visited, including Bergamo, Chieti, Naples, Florence and Genoa. Because of this, the race won't end as usual in Milan, but in Italy's capital city, Rome. On the 3,454.5 km long route from the north to the south and back again, the peloton will have a hard task before it. Three of the race's 21 stages are time trials. There are seven mountain stages.
The Milram lineup: Luca Barla (ITA/ San Remo), Robert Förster (GER/Leipzig), Markus Fothen (GER/Kaarst), Thomas Fothen (GER/Kaarst), Martin Müller (GER/Berlin), Thomas Rohregger (AUT/Kramsach), Matthias Ruß (GER/Oberried), Ronny Scholz (GER/Herrenberg), Björn Schröder (GER/Berlin).
Directeur Sportifs: Vittorio Algeri (ITA), Ralf Grabsch (GER).