Linus Gerdemann, who just came back to success at the French stage race Tour de l'Ain after breaking his leg this spring, does not consider himself one of the favourites for the overall victory of the Deutschland Tour, starting August 29. Even though he won a stage and the General Classification at the event, the Columbia rider said he was still not back at top form after his injury.
"The Tour de l'Ain didn't have a weak line-up," he told Radsportnews. "With David Moncoutié (Cofidis) and Stéphane Goubert (AG2R), there were two riders who raced well in the Tour de France beforehand and also at the Clasica San Sebastian. I won against these two, so my form can't be so bad. But I'm far away from being at a 100 percent."
Due to his injury, Gerdemann missed out on two of this season's highlights, the Tour de France and the Olympic Games. His next goal will be the German's own national Tour, but he didn't know what he will be able to achieve there. "Of course, I have a lot in mind for the Deutschland Tour," Gerdemann said. "But because of my long injury, I don't really know where I stand. I don't see myself as a favourite at all – I just lost out on too many races this season for that."
Nevertheless, the rider hailed as Germany's biggest Grand Tour hope will "collect some hard racing kilometres" in Italy next week before heading to the Deutschland Tour start in Kitzbühel, Austria. "I still have some muscular deficit, but I want to race the second part of the season as well as possible and catch up on my form over winter."