Johannes Fröhlinger of Team Gerolsteiner knew that the Deutschland Tour's stage five to Winterberg could be a good one for him, and once he got the best tip on how to ride it, he was able to take fifth place on the day. The tip came not from a teammate but from rival Linus Gerdemann (Columbia), who is currently leading the race.
The two Germans spoke before the stage, and "Linus told me that the mountain isn't really that difficult. I didn't want to believe him at first, but he was right," Fröhlinger told Radsportnews. "The profile of the climb really was reported as being steeper than it actually was."
The 23 year-old, who will ride for Team Milram in the coming season, stayed with the favourites' group during the race. With 10km to go, team captain Markus Fothen gave him the ok to go for it. "He came to me shortly before the end of the stage and said I could ride for myself. He himself looked half-frozen."
But the native of Gerolstein, Germany, knew quickly that he didn't have a chance to win, when he saw to his surprise that Columbia's Gerald Ciolek was also in the group. "When I discovered him in the group, it was clear to me that he could win the stage." Fröhlinger tried to stay on Ciolek's wheel in the sprint, but "in the last curve I unfortunately lost two places. I could have finished a little higher. But I had no chance for the win - Ciolek was simply too strong."
Coincidentally, Fröhlinger, Gerdemann and Ciolek might all be teammates at Milram next year. The team announced Fröhlinger's signing earlier this week and Milram general manager has expressed interest in the two Columbia riders.