Gerald Ciolek has the chance to be the number one sprinter on a ProTour team this year, even if he shares the captain's role at Team Milram with Linus Gerdemann. Ciolek has his eye on the green jersey at the Tour de France, but doesn't anticipate any conflict with Gerdemann, who will ride for the yellow jersey of general classification.
Both Gerdemann and Ciolek joined Milram last fall from Columbia-Highroad, whose forerunner was T-Mobile/Telekom – a team recognised for its conflicts between general classification leader Jan Ullrich and green jersey contender Erik Zabel.
Ciolek, 22, said that there won't be any such conflict at Milram, "because we have many riders who can not only help in the mountains, but are also good for the sprint. And it is in everyone's interest that the strongest team comes to the Tour," he said on ARD.de.
Sprints have changed over the years, he said. Previously one dominant team would take charge over the last 10 kilometres. "It is important to have a team that can have as many riders forward at the right time as possible, and optimally, as late as possible."
The young German started his season with a victory in the Trofeo Calvia, part of the Mallorca Challenge, mid-February. It was his earliest win in a season as a professional. Most recently, he started the Eroica Toscana, but had to abandon the race early due to stomach problems, from which he has now recovered. (SW)