The 2009 season hasn't gone as Team Milram general manager Gerry van Gerwen had hoped, but Gerald Ciolek's stage win in the Vuelta a España on Sunday in Emmen, Netherlands, has gone a long way to making things right. The Dutch manager of the German ProTour team was thrilled with the team's biggest win of the year.
"That is a very special win for me," he told Cyclingnews. "The Vuelta a Espana visits my homeland the Netherlands for the very first time, and we win the first sprint."
"That is the kind of day that makes you really proud!"
Van Gerwen noted that the team's major goal going into the race was a stage win. "We were so close so often at the Tour de France, but at the last moment didn't have that little necessary bit of luck. Today we showed an overwhelming team performance, which Gerald Ciolek rewarded with this classy win."
Directeur Sportif and former rider Ralf Grabsch also emphasised the whole team's role in the win. It started with Dominik Roels getting into the day's escape group, which relieved the team of the need of being involved in the chase work.
"We had planned to wait a long time at the finish. So we fell back after we made the tempo up to the five km mark," he explained. "It was clear to us that we couldn't build a proper sprint train, so Björn Schröder brought Gerald Ciolek into the right position fairly late.
"This victory is very important for us and gives us a lot of self-confidence for the coming three weeks."