Rasmus Guldhammer is looking forward to taking on the mountains with Columbia-HTC. The 20-year-old Dane is entering his first ProTour season with the US-based outfit.
Coming from flat Denmark, the youngster didn't discover his climbing talent until he went on holiday with his family in Italy. “Once I found out I could do it, though, I quickly found out how nice it is to go hard up climbs with the rest of the field just clinging on behind," he said on his new team's website.
Another Columbia newcomer, Tejay Van Gardaren, confirmed Guldhammer's abilities, saying "we've all got used to seeing Rasmus's back wheel on the climbs!"
Guldhammer grew up Velje, Denmark, the site of one of the country's few climbs, regularly featured in the Tour of Denmark. “The climb itself is only 500 metres long, but the gradient's 21 per cent and it's so packed out with fans you could be standing on Alpe d'Huez." he said.
His father was Danish amateur champion in 1989, and still gives his son training advice. "He told me not to overdo it, because if I turned professional I would have a tough enough time then. He was right - I've already noticed in my first training rides with Columbia-HTC in Spain that's it ten or fifteen per cent harder."
Guldhammer is also a threat for the Spring Classics. This year he won the under-23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège and finished second in the under-23 Ronde van Vlaanderen.
He rounded out his good results for former squad, Team Caprinordic, with two stage wins in the Grand Prix of Portugal and a fourth place overall in the Tour of Denmark, where he was also best young rider.