After a year out of the sport selling office supplies online, Martin Reimer is back in the saddle and enjoy every minute of it.
The former German road race champion left the sport at the age 24, after two years at the Cervelo Test Team and a one-year stint at Skil-Shimano. After eight months without touching a bike, the MTN-Qhubeka team offered him the chance to return for the 2013 season.
Now older and wiser, Reimer lined up for the Three Days of De Panne with renewed vigour and appreciation for his second chance in the professional ranks.
“I’m back. I worked the normal life with eight-hour days but now I’m back in cycling and I’m really appreciative of my second chance and I’m grateful to the team. I’ve been happy with my comeback. In the first few races it was just a case of seeing how long I could ride in the peloton but now it’s to protect Gerald [Ciolek] and maybe lead him out. I also think I’ll get my own chances in the rest of the year,” he told Cyclingnews at the start of the first stage of the Belgian race.
“I didn’t ride a bike for eight months but I did a lot of other sports,” he said, admitting that he put on a few extra kilos during his sabbatical.
“When I left Argos I thought that was it, and that I was done. Then the guys from MTN came to me and they thought I was good enough to make a come back. After Argos I was mentally empty and it was hard just to get on the bike. I didn’t get many offers either and at the time I wanted to see what normal life was like. I didn’t like it.”
With a one-year deal to fulfill, Reimer is looking forward to a racing calendar that will include a number of WorldTour events and with the squad on a high after Ciolek’s win in Milan-San Remo, he is glad to be simply be part of the peloton again.
“Being a cyclist is one of the hardest jobs in the world but it’s also one of the nicest. You see many different countries and there are so many good people in the sport. You go to a bike race and it gives you a great feeling with all the fans around as well.”
“I’d like to carry on after this year but I have to prove myself as well.”