Rubens Bertogliati met with his new teammates at an opening training camp for the Professional Continental outfit Team Type 1 held from December 15-22 in Athens, Georgia. The Swiss national time trial champion finalised his racing schedule that includes “shorter” UCI-sanctioned stage races on both European and American calendars.
“The camp has been good and we have a really good, compact team, maybe without a big leader, and everyone will have his own chance to demonstrate his strengths and take their opportunities when it is possible,” Bertogliati told Cyclingnews. “I think it is a well constructed team and I think we will be able to do good races together.”
“I think this program will be more suitable to my characteristics,” he added. “The smaller or shorter stage races, with a time trial, is very good for me. I can do well in the GC in these types of races. Especially the smaller stage races in France where there are no really big climbs.”
Bertogliati will target French stage races like the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe-Pays de la Loire in April and the Tour du Limousin in August along with a heavy schedule of racing in between that has not yet been released.
“There are these types of shorter stage races that I have never done before and I am really enthusiastic about doing them this year,” he said.
“I’ve done almost all the bigger races is Europe and some of the bigger races in the USA so I think I have a lot of experience in both areas. I think it will be interesting to mix it up and do some races in both places.”
Bertogliati is no stranger to American bike racing having competed in the Philadelphia International Cycling Championships in 2004, San Francisco Grand Prix in 2005 along with the Tour de Georgia and Tour of Missouri in 2007. This year there are a handful of UCI-sanctioned stage races in North America; the Tour of the Gila, Tour of Utah, Quiznos Pro Challenge and the Tour de Beauce. Team Type 1 is awaiting a coveted invitation to both UCI 2.HC Amgen Tour of California and the Giro d’Italia and will likely split the team should it participate in both events.
“In the USA, probably the major event will be the Tour of California for us,” Bertogliati said. “Whether or not I do that race will depend on if we do the Giro. If we do the Giro, we would have to send the best team we have to that race and a second team to the Tour of California. I don’t know if I would be on the team that does the Giro or the Tour of California.”
Bertogliati is a two-time Swiss national time trial champion in 2009 and 2010. Perhaps his most memorable accomplishment as a professional cyclist was his victory in stage one of the 2002 Tour de France where he wore the yellow jersey for the opening two stages. He spent the last eleven season racing in Europe and the last two under the Italian-based outfit Androni Giocattoli. He recently signed a two-year contract with Team Type 1.
“I think after many years of racing in Europe and on European teams I needed something new,” Bertogliati said. “This is a good project and a good opportunity to learn something new. It is a new and exciting project for me for the next two years.”