Sauser to defend Trans Germany title

Swiss rider optimistic about his chances

Defending Trans Germany champion Christoph Sauser (Specialized) is optimistic about retaining his title in 2011. The former world champion will be returning to the four-day mountain bike race across Germany.

"I'm in a very good shape," said the 35-year-old Sauser, who earlier this spring won the Cape Epic mountain bike stage race with teammate Burry Stander.

But the Swiss rider was moderate in his expectations. "Two days prior to the Trans Germany I'm competing in a World Cup race (in Offenburg). So, I have to recover quickly."

Sauser raced the Trans Germany for the first time in 2010. "I enjoy stage races. The Trans Germany offers four days full of action and is also a good training for all the races to come thereafter. In addition, I get the chance to get to know a new region."

Sauser, who won a bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games said he had expectations of winning the race in his first appearance there.

"I was totally focused on it. But it's hard to plan a victory. I was in very good shape, but there is more to it than that. When competing in a mountain bike race, one mechanical or crash can dash all of your hopes."

In 2010, Sauser competed on his own, without a team. He will do the same again in 2011 and said the victory is even sweeter when obtained on his own

"It also was a huge motivation to race all alone, without any help. As I will race again without a team, I have to be more attentive and have to have a very good knowledge of the route profile. I can't afford to be asleep when my competitors attack, especially on the flats."

Sauser will race the Trans Germany from June 1-4.

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