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"Back to basics" for Milram

By:
Susan Westemeyer in Dortmund, Germany
Published:
January 7, 2010, 11:45,
Updated:
January 7, 2010, 15:28
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, January 7, 2010
General Manager Gerry van Gerwen and Linus Gerdemann join forces.

General Manager Gerry van Gerwen and Linus Gerdemann join forces.

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Germany's only ProTour team working for a better 2010

It is "back to basics" for Team Milram, which presented its official team roster on Thursday morning in Dortmund, Germany . Germany's only remaining ProTour team will work for a more successful 2010 after bringing in only seven victories at the end of last season. Once again, the team will be led by co-captains Linus Gerdemann and Gerald Ciolek.

The new guidelines for the team are "be healthy, have fun and work professionally," according to general manager Gerry van Gerwen. "Our riders should concentrate on the basics."

And the most important of those basics is winning. "A winner has a plan, a loser an excuse," Van Gerwen continued. "There are no more excuses."

The Dutchman once again called for 25 wins this year. "With a team like this, with these athletes, these talented young men, 25 wins is possible, it must be." He would nevertheless be willing to accept less under certain circumstances. "I will take 15 if it includes a Classic and a Grand Tour stage."

Captains Gerdemann and Ciolek both admitted to an unsatisfactory previous season. "I can't be satisfed with 2009. I didn't live up to my own expectations," Ciolek, 23, said. "But I am going into 2010 with a good feeling."

Gerdemann, 27, said that "I certainly didn't achieve what I expected of myself. I will be a different rider in 2010, one who wins races."

The team features 24 riders from six nations, with two-thirds of them being German. There are five newcomers to the team, including Germans Roger Kluge and Dominik Nerz. Kluge, a track specialist, is expected to be a major helper in setting up sprints for Ciolek. Nerz, 20, comes over from the Milram Continental Team and is the German U-23 road champion.

The team's Classics squad has been strengthened by the signing of two Belgians, Roy Sentjens and Wim de Vocht. The other new signing is Luke Roberts of Australia, who is currently in his homeland for the national championships. He finished third in the time trial race, and will also ride in Sunday's road race.

The team has also undergone some internal restructuring. Christian Henn has moved from sports director to a management position, whose responsibilities include race analysis. Former Milram rider Ralf Grabsch becomes a new sports director, responsible for race planning and the direct rider contact.

From the presentation in snowy Dortmund, Germany, the team will head to the Spanish island of Mallorca for training. Its first race of the year will be the Tour Down Under in Australia. In addition to the Tour de France and ProTour races, it will place further emphasis on German one-day and stage races.