Gerald Ciolek of Team Columbia called Stefan Schumacher's recent positive doping tests "a slap in the face. You have to ask yourself how someone can be so irresponsible, dumb and disrespectful." Previously, a positive doping test affected only the rider involved, but now "all of cycling, starting with the enthusiastic junior riders, to mechanics and other personnel, and up to all other pro cyclists, have to bear the consequences."
The 22-year-old said, "the current cases weren't surprises. Of course I know it is a very narrow line, after all you can't say that every success is suspicious. But some earlier results that were more or less positive should make people more attentive."
Ciolek wasn't entirely satisfied with his own 2008 season, with only three victories this year; two stages in the Bayern Rundfahrt and one in the Deutschland Tour.
For a sprinter, Ciolek would have hoped to be atop of the podium more often. "Overall I think that I have increased my level of performance. But I would have liked to get a better results."
He also rode the Tour de France for the first time, "It was a special race and it is noticeable that the Tour is the biggest race. It gets the most attention. You can feel that on every kilometre you ride through France," he said on his website, geraldciolek.de.
The highlight of the season for him was winning "a hard stage in the Deutschland Tour. And the experience of riding the Tour de France and the Olympics was very important for me."
The downside of the season was Milano-Sanremo. "That was a bit of a letdown, since I was so strongly motivated and wanted to ride well, and then had to drop out of the race pretty quickly because I was sick."
After his vacation, Ciolek will start training again "early to mid-November." The question of what team he will be riding for next year, though, has not yet been settled. Columbia has let it be known that it is not planning with him in 2009 and he is said to be courted by Team Milram, but so far nothing has been announced. (SW)