Linus Gerdemann of Team Milram is not satisfied with his 2009 season, and is trying to figure out how to do better in 2010.
"My absolute season highlight was the Tour de France, and all my planning was for it," he told radsport-news.com. "The Tour, as it turned out, did not meet my expectations."
The 27-year-old went into the Tour as his team's co-captain and GC candidate. It wasn't a question of things going particularly wrong as more that nothing really went right. He broke into the top ten in a stage finish only once, finishing tenth in the third stage. The German never seemed to get into the race and finished a disappointing 23rd overall.
Things had looked good for the German in May, when he won the Bayern-Rundfahrt, although he didn't win any stages. He looked to prove his form with a good performance at the Tour de Suisse, but he never got on track, in a foreboding for the Tour de France. His low point came on the eighth stage when he finished over four and a half minutes down on the stage to Crans-Montana.
Gerdemann then went to the Alps for additional climbing training, while Milram sport director Christian Henn evidently saw the handwriting on the wall, saying, "You can't really expect a top ten finish" in the Tour.
He hoped to make up for things with a strong Vuelta a España, and in the 10th stage it looked like he would have his chance and bring in Milram's second stage win in the race. He attacked on a climb with only 20km to go, and was alone in the lead when he suffered a flat tyre. A neutral spare caused him to crash only minutes later, burying all his chances.
Things didn't improve any after that. He dropped out of the Vuelta the next day to prepare for the World Championships, only to miss them with a bout of bronchitis.
The Milram rider is not giving up, though, and is already planning a more successful Tour and season in 2010. "This coming year I will try to provide more focus in my training, especially for the Tour. I will also change a few things having to do with my training."