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Milram manager disappointed in 2009 season

By:
Hedwig Kröner
Published:
October 22, 2009, 15:13 BST,
Updated:
October 22, 2009, 17:08 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, October 22, 2009
Gerry Van Gerwen is cautiously optimistic but needs more details.

Gerry Van Gerwen is cautiously optimistic but needs more details.

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Van Gerwen investigating Gerdemann blood values

Gerry Van Gerwen, general manager of German ProTour team Milram, has drawn negative conclusions over the squad's 2009 season. The team achieved only nine victories this year when the Dutch manager's goal in January had been 25 wins. Milram is currently placed 18th team in the UCI rankings.

"One thing is clear: We're not going to continue this way," Van Gerwen said at a press conference in Dortmund, Germany, according to wire service SID. "Maybe we were too democratic, too human. The reins will be tightened. We are not going to race just to race anymore, but to perform."

The team's biggest results this year were one stage victory at the Vuelta a Espana through Gerald Ciolek, the overall Bayern Rundfahrt by Linus Gerdemann and the Eschborn-Frankfurt City Loop by Fabian Wegmann.

"But not all was bad this season," Van Gerwen also said. "It was the team's best showing at the Tour de France, and we presented ourselves very well at the German races. Moreover, we achieved another big goal: a high-quality win at a Grand Tour. These are the performances we have to build upon, and that we will show at every race in 2010."

Van Gerwen also noted that 2010 will be the last year the team sponsor Nordmilch is under contract.

Regarding the allegations against team captain Linus Gerdemann, Van Gerwen is pursuing further investigations. "I have recommended to Gerdemann's manager to obtain the complete blood values. Then, we can ask an external expert to analyse them." If the expert's conclusions were negative, this would be "obliging" according the manager.

The team's doctor, Mark Schmidt, has also been accused of doping. Former Gerolsteiner rider Bernhard Kohl alleged that Schmidt, who worked for Gerolsteiner at the time, organised doping within the team in 2008. Van Gerwen is now reportedly waiting for a court decision in Vienna, Austria, before taking any action.

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