Gerdemann: young riders must take responsibility
PIC BY T-MOBILE
T-Mobile's emerging star Linus Gerdemann believes that it's up to the young pros to show the way forward when it comes to a clean sport. In an interview with t-mobile-team.com, Gerdemann said of the coming season, "I hope that the sport can remain scandal-free. We really have to lead from the front in the fight against doping. I believe that younger riders must also stand up and take responsibility in this field.
"It's important that we always approach the subject in a very open, honest and transparent way. The sport of cycling is in a crisis of its own doing. I am all for frequent testing - they are a bit of a nuisance, but its something we have to accept and get on with."
Last year's Operacion Puerto raids affected one of Gerdemann's former teammates: Jan Ullrich, who is battling on more than one front to try to clear his name. Ivan Basso was also involved in the affair, but was cleared by the Italian federation and signed to ride for Discovery Channel. Basso is therefore a strong candidate for this year's Tour de France, while Ullrich is an outside possibility to ride it at the moment.
In recent months, sports officials, the media and fans have debated on whether to allow these two stars to start in the cycling's main event. "It is not for me to decide who starts there, or who doesn't," said Gerdemann. "That's for the sport's authorities to decide. I believe it is important that every ride is clean when they start a bike race. At the T-Mobile Team we want to lead from the front in this regard- with our personal commitment to strict internal controls and tests."
Gerdemann's own ambitions for this year include starting in the Tour de France, where he would like to make his debut. "My performance at the 2006 Tour de Suisse showed that I can also be competitive on the big mountain stages. So now I need to take it to the next level and test myself at the Tour. In Michael Rogers we have a strong GC rider, and I would like to be there to support him and the team. Maybe I will also get the chance to stake a claim for the Tour's white jersey for the best young rider. But I won't be putting any pressure on myself to win this."
The 24 year-old Gerdemann, like his teammates, doesn't know who will ride the Tour yet. "No, it's still wide-open and everybody will get their chance to stake a claim for a place on the Tour team. I have, however, spoken to Rolf Aldag about this, and he has indicated to me that I can ride the Tour if I perform well in other races. I think I am now at the right age for a cyclist to ride the Tour and gathering experience." Gerdemann said of his future in the Tour, "It is my goal to be right up there in the top ten on GC in three or four years time."
O'Grady's near miss
Local boy Stuart O'Grady came within a whisker of winning stage 2 of the Tour Down Under, but had to be content with third place after his small breakaway group was caught within sight of the finish line. O'Grady was part of the decisive break of 14 which escaped with 55 km to go to the finish in Hahndorf.
With 10 km to go, he attacked with Hilton Clarke (Navigators) and Eduardo Ramirez (Agritubel), but among the 11 riders in the chasing group were four riders from Chocolade Jacques. They succeeded in reeling in the escape and coming home with a 1-2 finish, courtesy of Steven Caethoven and Pieter Ghyllebert.
"Of course Stuart was a bit disappointed afterwards, but he did really well and felt strong throughout the day so we're still pleased with the fact that he showed such strength - which looks promising for the oncoming European season," CSC's sports director Scott Sunderland said after the stage.
"We've had some great training down here ahead of this race and both Matt Goss and Matti Breschel were part of some breaks earlier in the day, so all in all a good day for our guys. "There will probably be some opportunities over the next few days. The next two stages are tough ones so we'll have to see what we can come up with. After today's stage Stuart felt like he still has a chance of a good result," finished Sunderland.
Brest start for 2008 Tour
The 2008 edition of the Tour de France will depart from Brest, in Brittany, France on July 5th, according to L'Equipe. The opening stage will not be a prologue, but a road stage between Brest and Plumelec. Stage 2 will run from Auray (Morbihan) to Saint-Brieuc (Ctes-d'Armor), and the third stage will start in Saint-Malo (Ille-et-Vilaine). Further details of the opening stages will be announced on January 25 in Rennes.
A closer look at the new Procycling
The January issue of Procycling is packed with goodies, focusing on the 50 greatest climbs in the sport. It also marked the first major redesign of the magazine in eight years, and it's definitely been a talking point among our readers. We've received valuable feedback on the new look, and have taken it on board for our February issue. It is, to paraphrase WADA, a "living magazine".
If you haven't got your copy yet, you can thumb through it online at zinio.com. There's also a great offer for UK readers to subscribe to the magazine for just £1 for the first three issues, and £9.38 per quarter after that. And for readers in the rest of the world, you can still save up to 42% of the news stand price by taking out a subscription.
Gerdemann: young riders must take responsibility