By Susan Westemeyer
Andreas Klöden had a hard time getting going this season, but he has overcome his problems and is "totally satisfied" with his season debut in the Volta ao Algarve.
"I have had to deal with a number of blows since our training camp in the US," he noted on his website, andreas-kloeden.com. "First the infection, which meant I couldn't train, so that I couldn't start in the Mallorca Challenge as planned." That was followed by the news that his team, Astana, would not be invited to any races organised by the Tour de France or Giro d'Italia management. "These are the kind of things that make it even more difficult to optimally concentrate on training."
But he finally got on the road with the Volta ao Algarve, and "I could feel that it was getting better every day. The good training over the winter kept me from falling into too much of a hole. My form is not 100 percent, but during the time trial .... I could tell I was on the right way."
The 32 year-old said that on account of the heavy rain, which fell every day, "I didn't give my all during the whole race, especially during the time trial," in order to avoid crashing and possible injuries.
His immediate goal now is to recover with light training and "to stay healthy and continue my training plans for the next weeks, so that my form continues to improve."
With not being able to participate in the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia or even Tirreno-Adriatico, a race which he won last year, the German will have to figure out a new season highlight.