Linus Gerdemann is looking for a more successful season with Team Milram, and wants to show “that I am to be reckoned with in 2010”.
The German had poor results in 2009, although he won the Bayern Rundfahrt. He was not on form for the Tour de France, which was to have been his season highlight.
“I certainly didn't achieve what I expected of myself,” he said at Thursday's team presentation in Dortmund, Germany. “I started a bit earlier with training this year. I want to be a different rider in 2010, one who can win races.”
This year he is aiming for the Tour again, looking to repeat his previous success. “At any rate I want a stage win,” he continued. “As for the GC, I think that when I am at the start in 100 percent form, then I will be a factor in the overall.”
Gerdemann is planning to build up to the Tour by starting well in the season, “beginning with the Mallorca Challenge, and I will see that I am super fit for that.
“I want to show that I am to be reckoned with in 2010. I will most likely ride the Giro d'Italia and I think that there I will also be in a very good condition.”
One of the changes Gerdemann made was to spend much of the off-season in South Africa, away from not only the European winter but also the media. Another change has been a move to healthier living. “I started paying attention to my nutrition much earlier,” he told Cyclingnews. “Last year I went into the season with the wrong body weight, which this year is much lower.”
His Milram team is facing the loss of its sponsor at the end of the season, but he denied that this puts any additional pressure on him. “There is always pressure to do well. I think that we will give our answer with good performances. We want to prove to sponsors that it makes good sense to invest in our team.”
The German ProTour team does not hold survival camps like some other squads, but several riders do find the training camps to be a fight for survival. The team is not always provided with a fancy hotel, but rather rental apartments in which the riders are expected to cook, wash and clean for themselves, and work with one another to improve their teamwork and team spirit.
Only the team for the Tour Down Under has undergone this so far, but Gerdemann knows that his turn is coming. “I will do that as of January 30,” when he flies to Mallorca.
“I think it is very good. I think it doesn't have to be 365 days a year because we should concentrate on cycling, but I think it is not a bad idea. I can cook and wash, too, so I am really not worried about it. And you aren't alone, the rest of the team is there to work together at these things.”