An interview with Marcus Burghardt

How does a neo-pro survive his first year at T-Mobile in team full of super-stars? Susan Westemeyer...

Boys just wanna have fun

How does a neo-pro survive his first year at T-Mobile in team full of super-stars? Susan Westemeyer asks 22 year-old Marcus Burghardt.

Cycling is "very, very fun". The races this season "were a lot of fun". Being a pro cyclist "is even more fun". Hanging around with Erik Zabel "and the other guys is a lot of fun".

This happy young man is 22 year-old Marcus Burghardt, a neo-pro with T-Mobile. "I'm really lucky to be riding in a squad like the T-Mobile Team. I will take this chance with both hands," he said at the beginning of the year. He took his chance and did it well, with an impressive season for a newcomer, topping it off with his selection as a substitute for the German team at the world road championships.

Was it easier or harder than he had expected? "At the beginning of the season it was pretty hard, but now I've gotten used to it," Burghardt said in a recent interview. With some 60 race days in his first season, and a well-tailored race program, it was "not a problem to ride from January to October," he said.

However, Burghardt didn't get off to the best of starts. After an impressive team training camp, he was nominated for the GP Doha and the Tour of Qatar - but almost didn't make the trip. Europeans are used to travelling around Europe with only their national identity cards, but Qatar requires a passport. Burghardt turned up at the airport without it, and had to go back home for it, thus missing the team flight. He caught a flight the next day. "That [incident] with my passport was really dumb, something like that shouldn't happen," he said. "I really didn't want to start my first race in my new magenta trikot that way."

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