T-Mobile need to answer call to perform
Monday’s alpine stage from Seefeld to St. Anton am Arlberg presents the final opportunity for T-Mobile to have any influence on the outcome of their home tour.
Italian climber Eddy Mazzoleni is the only magenta rider within two minutes of leader Jens Voigt with just three stages remaining, and with Tuesday's time-trial looming large, it is difficult to imagine him keeping pace with the leaders, never mind closing a gap.
Despite sending a second string team along to the Tour of Germany, the presence of Tour de France starter and 2004 champion Patrik Sinkewitz alongside Linus Gerdemann had raised hopes of a challenge for a podium spot at the very least.
The Bonn-based team have so far flattered to deceive, and if indeed they are to finish with any riders inside the top ten in the general classification, a vast improvement on current form is needed. Only the exploits of home favourite Voigt have saved T-Mobile from harsher criticism in the German press.
The premature finish to Sunday's stage must have seemed like Christmas come early for CSC's Jens Voigt, though another titanic effort will be required of the man from Berlin in he is to stand a chance of still being in yellow after tonight.
Discovery's Volodymir Gusev and Lampre's Marzio Bruseghin are just seconds off the pace, and both will fancy their chances in the time-trial should they remain in touch with the leaders in the final alpine stage.
His exuberance is likely only to be heightened by the beyond category ascent of the Hahntenjoch and the first category climb to the stage finish in St. Christoph am Arlberg.
FOLLOW LIVE COMMENTS ON THE TOUR OF GERMANY AT EUROSPORT.COM