2005 "could just as easily have been the worst year of my career" instead of the best, said Gerolsteiner's Georg Totschnig in an interview with the Austrian newspaper Der Standard. "During the Tour I was ready to drop out. I wasn't in top form. The stage victory was only possible because, in contrast to last year, I wasn't good enough for a top place in the rankings. I posed no danger to those who wanted to place in the top ten. That is why I had the chance on that day."
He hopes things will be different in the coming year. "I want to compete for top place in the Tour again. The chances for an outsider like me are better since Lance Armstrong's retirement, because it is questionable whether any team will be able to control the race like Armstrong's team could."
Totschnig said that his selection as Austrian athlete of the year "means a lot to me, because the selection was made by experts. But I'm realistic about it. It reflects more on cycling than on me." He is purposely not taking advantage of all the opportunities open to him outside of the sporting world, though. "I could be on the go every day attending some kind of event that is only marginally associated with sport. I choose very carefully what I do, because the time I spend with my family is the most important to me."
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer