Team Columbia stayed in full control on the final day of racing in the Deutschland Tour by taking...
Team Columbia stayed in full control on the final day of racing in the Deutschland Tour by taking both the top two places on the 34km time trial stage and in the overall classification.
After moving into the lead with a victory on stage one, Linus Gerdemann triumphed overall, with team-mate Thomas Lovkvist in second and the winner of the Best Young Rider competition.
Tony Martin took first place in the stage and Bert Grabsch second at 34 seconds. Gustav Erik Larsson (CSC-Saxo Bank) interrupted the Columbian dominance for third and Gerdemann ended up fourth. It was Team Columbia's fourth stage win in the eight-day race.
"I'm pleased and relieved because the Tour of Germany was the focus of my comeback from a very hard start to the season," said Gerdemann, who crashed and was badly injured in the time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico where he fractured his femur.
"I missed out on the Tour de France because of my injuries, so I pinned everything on being in good shape for the Tour of Germany."
"Of course I was worried, really worried at times, that I might not be able to recover fully after such a bad injury. But I saw I was in good shape in August when I won in the Tour de L'Ain and in Italy. Plus I always had full support from the team, particularly doctor Helge Riepenhof, and they all helped me to come through. I can't thank them enough."
"Every day here in Germany was tough and stressful, from the moment I took the lead, and today was no exception - very windy and rainy, and not at all easy," he said. "Having the big mountain stages early on meant you had to be in top form from the word go. There weren't any hiding places. Fortunately I knew what I had to do on the climb [of stage one] and when to attack."
Delighted with his overall win, he said, "I had no particular tactics in the time trial, just go all out from start to finish. It worked!"
Gerdemann was equally pleased for his team-mates' success in Germany, pointing out that Thomas Lovkvist crashed on a railway crossing close to the finish, but still hung for second overall. "He was really determined not to lose his Best Young Rider's jersey," said Gerdemann said.
"It was terrible to crash like that, because it's always hard to refocus fast in a time trial and you're worried about losing time, but he did it, and got a great result."
"The same goes for [final stage winner] Tony Martin. He worked tirelessly all week, and then still managed to win the time trial. For Columbia, Tony's win on the last stage was the icing on the cake!"
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Deutschland Tour.