With his two time trial victories in the Tour de France, Stefan Schumacher is considered one of the top favourites for a medal in the Olympic time trial. But his German team-mate, Bert Grabsch, wants one, too. "A medal would be a dream. My goal is firm – a place in the top six," he told the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung.
Grabsch, 33, already knows how best to ride the 46 kilometre course. "On the ascents I will give everything I have, on the descents I can rest a bit." He sees not only Schumacher as a medal possibility, but also Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland), Laszlo Bodrogi (Hungary), David Zabriskie (USA) and Levi Leipheimer (USA).
He will also ride the road race, but only as preparation and to help his team-mates Schumacher, Jens Voigt, Fabian Wegmann and Gerald Ciolek.
Grabsch most recently won the Sachsen Tour for his trade team, Columbia, thanks to a winning time trial performance. After a successful spring, he was disappointed not to be named to Columbia's Tour de France team. To compensate for that, he gave his all in the German national time trial championships, which he won for the second successive year. "With this win I jumped onto the Olympic train heading to Beijing," he said.
"My whole family is proud of me," he noted. "I am looking forward to Beijing." His mother, Gudrun Grabsch added her positive insight. "In the 2007 World Championships Bert finished fourth. Why shouldn't he have his big day in Beijing?"
He is also not the only professional cyclist in the family. Older brother Ralf rides for Team Milram, and nearly made the Olympics himself in the past. As an amateur, he was expecting to go to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. However, the rules changed to allow professionals to participate, which left no place for amateur riders. Bert Grabsch will correct matters in Beijing when he rides in both road events. (SW)