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School first for young German riders

Brecht Decaluwé in Deinze
March 17, 2008, 0:00 GMT,
April 20, 2009, 21:22 BST
Latest Cycling News, March 17, 2008

Twin brothers Sebastian and Maximilian May as well as Oliver Giesecke of the Thüringer Energie Team...

Twin brothers Sebastian and Maximilian May as well as Oliver Giesecke of the Thüringer Energie Team were doubly stressed in their recent cycling adventures. All three had to write some math pre-exams for their Abitur, the German equivalent of a High School degree. All three attend the 'Sportgymnasium' in Erfurt. The word Gymnasium in German is used for a higher-level school, rather than a place for sports, as in English. Sportgymnasien are special high schools for talented athletes that allow them to coordinate the time-intensive workouts with getting a decent education.

The exams were written at the same time as their class-mates back in Erfurt wrote them, on March 13. The May twins were at a training camp on Mallorca, where they could easily work their training schedule around the exam. Giesecke had a little more trouble trying to fit it in, as he is currently racing at the Istrian Spring Trophy. Giesecke had to get ready for his 12:30 prologue, start right after finishing the math problems. The exams arrived in sealed envelopes and the respective directeurs sportifs, Jens Lang and Gerald Mortag, were supervising the riders.

The riders will graduate this summer and will have a very busy schedule until then. Manager Jörg Werner said that "Aside from sports we do emphasise a good education for our athletes... If cycling doesn't work out for them, they should not have disadvantages finding a job. School is important. We stress and even require this." Werner is very happy with the close collaboration with the Sportgymnasium Erfurt.

The next race for the team will be Cottbus-Görlitz-Cottbus, the first Bundesliga race of the season, on March 24.

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