Jan Ullrich says winning a second Tour de France is his major goal for 2005.
While six-time champion Lance Armstrong has yet to confirm his participation in the race, Ullrich pledged on Monday to go all out to add to his 1997 success.
"The Tour is the race I want to win," said the T-Mobile rider, who has finished runner-up five times but could only manage fourth in 2004's event.
"I'm in training to be the best in the world and I want to once again prove something to myself."
While Ullrich's natural talent on the bike has never been in doubt, he has often been accused of not making the most of his abilities and failing to train hard enough.
But after a three-week training camp in South Africa, the German's fitness is said to be far better than at the same stage last year.
"I know my prospects are getting better day by day," he said.
Following further training in the hills of Tuscany, Ullrich plans to make his seasonal debut in early March in Spain's Tour of Murcia.
The 2002 Olympic champion will be helped in his pursuit of a second Tour title by veteran sprinter Erik Zabel, the 2002 Tour of Spain runner up Oscar Sevilla, Francisco Lara and German sprinter Olaf Pollack.
It is a line-up that one of T-Mobile's manager's Olaf Ludwig insists can take team honours in France this summer - despite the loss of Italian Paolo Savoldelli, who has switched to Armstrong's Discovery Channel outfit.
"We can't say we'll be satisfied with fifth place," Ludwig said at the unveiling of the 2005 T-Mobile team line up in Bonn.
"When we've got three cyclists aiming for a top-three finish there's only one objective - and that's to win the Tour."