Past, present and future
At only 29 years old, Joerg Jaksche is already in his tenth year as a professional cyclist. In that time he has hopscotched around from Polti, to Telekom, to ONCE, to CSC and now to Liberty. Susan Westemeyer tracked him down and asked him about his teams, his past, his present and his future.
Cyclingnews: Within the last few years you changed from ONCE to CSC and then to Liberty. Why did you leave ONCE? And why did you return?
Joerg Jaksche: I went away, because we stood before an uncertain future. ONCE pulled out after the Tour and the team management still hadn't found a new sponsor by the time of the Vuelta.
It gives you a certain sense of security to come back to a team where you know their values and where you know in a positive sense with whom you will be dealing and what will be expected of you. I knew that, and that was my reason for going back.
CN: Your year with CSC was very successful, with wins at Paris-Nice and the Mediterranean Tour. Why did you leave the team after only one year?
JJ: I've known Bjarne [Riis] for a long time. He helped me in the most difficult time of my career, when I was young and wanted to quit the sport. He did things for me - a young unknown - which as a Tour winner he didn't have to do, and which nobody would believe, because many people have a false impression of him. I have a lot to thank him for, a whole lot.
One evening in Italy, I spoke to him about the future of the team and he told me in his typical open and honest manner that he might have to use his private financial resources to plug some holes. I didn't want that and therefore went to Liberty, although I still had a contract with CSC and could have stayed.