Sprinter Olaf Pollack is on his third team in as many years, but hopes to stay with Team Volksbank and help to form the young Austrian Professional Continental Team for the future. This year he has his eye on both the road and the track, especially the track events in the Beijing Olympics. Cyclingnews' Susan Westemeyer looked at how the German settled in with the new team and found out what his goals are for the season.
Pollack rode for Team Gerolsteiner from 2000 to 2004 before transferring to rival T-Mobile, where his greatest achievement was wearing the leader's maglia rosa in the Giro d'Italia. But he was not offered a new contract for the 2007 season, and ended up spending last season with Team Wiesenhof-Felt, a now dissolved German Professional Continental team. He started the season well, surprising everyone by winning the first stage of the Critérium International.
But Pollack is also a track specialist and in the German national championships finished second in pursuit, team pursuit and Madison.
Track continues to play an important part in his sporting life, and he rode several Six Day races over the winter. Pollack has his eye on the track events in the upcoming Beijing Olympics. "My concentration in my season preparations was all on the track and the Olympic games in Beijing, my big season goal for 2008. It was like jumping into cold water to try and find my rhythm for road racing again," he told cyclingnews.
Part of that preparation for the road season was getting to know his new - and young - team-mates at the team training camp in Tuscany. "The first thing was to find our way to each other and to build a homogeneous unit, which we were able to do at the training camp. They're all funny and friendly guys, who are all willing to pull together."
He is joined at Volksbank by fellow newcomer, but old acquaintance, sprinter André Korff. The two, both 34 years old, are among the oldest on the team and see themselves responsible for helping the younger riders. "We have a lot of young riders, who are capable of accomplishing a lot," he noted. He and Korff "have set as our goal, to share with them our years of experience and to awaken their killer instinct. Everyone has to find their own specialty. We can still form the team."
To read the full feature on Olaf Pollack, click here.