By Susan Westemeyer
Team Volksbank has been awarded the one and only wild card invitation to the Tour de Suisse, it was announced Wednesday. The Austrian Professional Continental team also rode the race in 2007, with captain Gerrit Glomser finishing eighth overall and Florian Stalder taking the sprinter's jersey. "We want to improve on these results," said team manager Thomas Kofler.
This year's Tour de Suisse features a mountain time trial on the penultimate stage, 25 km on the Klausenpass. "It is an advantage that there is no normal time trial, and that is good for me," said Glomser, 32. "I will be looking to make the Olympic qualification at the race. My goal is a stage win."
"The Tour de Suisse is a big challenge which we gladly accept and to which we look forward optimistically," said Kofler. "Our motto is to ride actively and cleverly. We want to take every opportunity we can to be worthy representatives of Austrian cycling."
Stalder, who is Swiss, is particularly looking forward to the race, in which he hopes to score his first pro win. "As a Swiss citizen, the race is my season highlight. It would be my ultimate dream to win in my home land. If we all work together, we can accomplish that," the 25 year-old said.