After surviving the Vuelta a Espana, Thomas Dekker is set to take part in the upcoming UCI road world championships. The Dutchman will compete in the team time trial in Valkenburg this weekend as part of the Garmin-Sharp team. He will line up alongside David Millar and Andrew Talansky although the team has yet to announce their full six-man line up.
"I think we have a pretty strong team. It's a little bit different without guys like [David] Zabriskie, [Christian] Vande Velde and [Tom] Danielson, maybe, but that's the situation. Talansky did well at the Vuelta and Millar is always a specialist. We have a good team," Dekker told Cyclingnews.
The 53.2 kilometre course will see men's trade teams take part in the Worlds on Sunday, September 16, with the women's equivalent, at 34.2km, taking place earlier in the day.
"It's difficult to say what the expectations are, but you always go for the highest, but I think it will be really good if we could do top five, the podium would be amazing and winning, that would be incredible," Dekker added before naming the usual suspects as Garmin's main rivals.
"It a difficult parcours and it's technical as we go over the Cauberg as well. You can always expect the big teams like Sky, QuickStep, RadioShack and GreenEdge to up there but no one really knows."
Dekker's comeback season in the professional ranks comes after a two-year ban for EPO use. The Vuelta marked his first Grand Tour since the 2007 Tour but despite a late call up for the trip to Spain he says he was pleased to complete the event, with the hope of carrying his form into the remainder of the season.
"It was pretty hard because of all the climbing but for me it was a good experience to do a big Tour again and I made a big step in just finishing it. The only role I could do was help Talansky but I only knew I was riding six days before but we all did our best and supported Andrew as much as we could.
"You always want more but I've come back from a long way and it's been a long process. I've done some good things. My level has been okay but I'm expecting a lot more from myself in the future but I'm happy I got to do the Vuelta."