German to strengthen sprint and Classics factions
Gerald Ciolek will ride for QuickStep in the coming season, the Belgian team announced Friday evening. The German, whose Team Milram still has no sponsor for 2011, signed a one-year contract.
“Ciolek's arrival and the return of Francesco Chicchi ensure that we will be strong in the mass sprints,” said manager Patrick Lefevere, according to the Belgian news agency Belga. “With the signing of Ciolek we are better armed for the Classics.”
“This is a dream come true,” said Ciolek. “I have always looked with great admiration to this team. At QuickStep I find my friend and fellow German Andreas Stauff, and I look forward to the start of this new adventure. Besides the mass sprints, I will do the Classics and work for the team.”
Ciolek, 23, burst onto the scene in 2005 when he won the German national road race as a teenager. The next season he won the World U23 road race title. He turned pro with Team AKUD in 2005, and rode for T-Mobile and Team Columbia in 2007 and 2008.
In 2009 Ciolek joined Milram, where he has struggled with injuries and health problems and never quite lived up to expectations. He won the sprint of the second stage of the Vuelta a Espana in 2009. This year he has only one victory, a stage in the Tour of Bayern.