Fleeman wins hill climb title, still looking for team

Wants to make up for injury-affected 2009

Dan Fleeman finished a difficult season on a good note yesterday, dominating the British Hill-climb Championship in Stocksbridge. The Cervélo Test Team rider showed that participation in the recent 242 kilometre Giro di Lombardia hadn’t blunted his short-distance explosiveness, winning the 1.1-kilometre event by a considerable 14 seconds over closest challenger Matt Clinton (MikeVaughan.co.uk).

It was his final race before taking a break prior to building up for 2010, and gives him a morale boost as he searches for a new team.

“I’m glad to win,” he told Cyclingnews. “It is very nice to finish the season strong with this and a decent showing in Lombardy [55th], having had a troubled year.

“The season was not so good - I broke my scaphoid in June [actually May 28th] and didn’t race again until August. I was struggling to regain race fitness after that and was only coming good at end of year. Now the races are all finished.”

Fleeman got a one-year deal with Cervélo after a strong showing with the An Post M. Donnelly Grant Thornton Sean Kelly team in 2008. He won the Tour des Pyrénées, finished seventh in the Tour of Britain, tenth in the Vuelta a Extremadura and thirteenth overall in the Tour of Ireland.

2009 started on a solid note when he was 22nd in the Tour de Langkawi and 16th in the GP di Lugano; 27th in the GP Miguel Indurain was also solid, as was 64th in the Tour de Romandie. His plans to build form were frustrated by that crash in the Bayern Rundfahrt, and now he’s hoping to find a new ride for 2010.

“It was a really disappointing year compared to last season where everything went right,” he said. “But I have come back good now so very motivated for next year.

“I am out of contract at the moment so am busy negotiating. I thought I had a team sorted last week but then things went quiet so I’m still looking. There is a team that has shown some interest but I’m still on the market as of now. I don’t really want to drop down to Continental level so I am exploring all ProTour and Continental Pro teams first.”

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