Introducing CSC's Matti BreschelClose
CSC new pro Matti Breschel could not have wished for a better start to his season at the Tour of QatSTORY BY ELLIS BACON PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM (click for larger image) "I could never have foreseen this happening," Matti Breschel told procycling after having collected his final blue jersey as best young rider after the fifth and last stage of the Tour of Qatar. In his first professional race, in the colours of CSC, Breschel has already partially fulfilled the promise that team manager Bjarne Riis spotted in the 20-year-old Dane. Breschel finished sixth in last season's under-23 version of Paris-Roubaix, and his season culminated with sixth in the U23 world road championship in Verona, Italy, and the offer of a pro contract. "When Bjarne said that the spring Classics that I've dreamed about would be on my programme - I'll ride the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, but not Ghent-Wevelgem - that's what swayed me to sign with CSC," Breschel explained. Like overall race winner and team-mate Lars Michaelsen, Breschel punctured on the last stage, and must have been worried that he'd see the jersey slip away. "Oh, I was never too worried about getting back on," the Dane said. "It was still quite early in the race, and I had Lars Bak with me who gave me his wheel. And it wasn't too fast at that point, although it was very windy. But we could always have called some more team-mates back to help get me back into the bunch." Breschel's calm exterior should serve him well, but he already has a great rapport with his team-mates following CSC's team-building commando training camp in January. "I got to know everyone well there, and I'm very happy with the team," said Breschel with a smile, remembering the hours of trekking, rowing inflatable boats, and lack of sleep. "I got to know Bjarne very well, too, and am pleased that he's chosen to put his faith in me." After just a couple of days at home, next on Breschel's hit-list will be next week's Tour of the Mediterranean, where he and his CSC team - who took the top three places in 2004 through Jorg Jaksche, Ivan Basso and Jens Voigt - will be looking to build on what has already been a highly successful 2005, with Michaelsen's stage and overall victory, and Breschel's blue jersey, in Qatar, Nicki Sorensen's win in the GP d'Ouverture La Marseillaise, and Voigt's victory in stage three of the Etoile de Besseges.