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Gerald Ciolek, Linus Gerdemann and Fabian Wegmann (l-r).
Spring Classics and Tour de France will be season highlights
Victory at one of the Spring Classics will be one of Fabian Wegmann's major goals this season. The two-time German national champion is one of the few Milram riders who was not entirely unhappy with his 2009 season, but he too looks forward to bigger and better things this year.
“I think it will be a a good season for team Milram when we have achieved our 25 wins,” he said, referring to team manager Gerry van Gerwen's call for 25 victories this year. “That may be a little exaggerated, but we could take 10 or 15, if they are good quality wins. And if you win one or two Tour stages, then that is a very successful year.”
The Spring Classics are the first targets for him this season, and “It is my dream to win a Classic,” he told Cyclingnews at the team's presentation. “Amstel Gold Race is the race dearest to me, that is a race in which I think I could do well.”
But, he admitted, “Actually, it doesn't make any difference [which one I win]."
After the Spring, his next major objective is expected to once again be the Tour de France. A busy programme in the first half of the season will also include the Giro d'Italia, which he will use as preparation for the French Grand Tour. “Absolutely, I think I will ride the Tour. I have to see how I am after the Giro, but it is definitely planned.”
Looking back to 2009, he said he was “very satisfied with the start of the season,” especially his win in the Eschborn-Frankfurt City Loop. However, things didn't go so well after that as he injured his back in a crash in the Dauphiné Libéré.
He continued riding through the end of the season, but his ability to compete at a high level was severely restricted by the effects of the crash. Finally, though, he seems to have recovered. “I still notice my back, but it is overall in order. It was a bad crash and actually I was glad to be able to finish the season.”
Wegmann, 29, hasn't any major changes in this pre-season preparations. “I did a little more strength training, partly because of my back. I did a lot of cross-country skiing. I live in Freiburg, so it is only 20 minutes to the course, and I can train well there.”
Milram's two main captains are Linus Gerdemann and Gerald Ciolek, but Wegmann and Christian Knees will also have their turns in the captain's role. “You can say we have a lot of captains, but you must remember that not every rider is in every race. When there are are two or three races at the same time, then we must have other captains.”
The team gathered for a training camp on Mallorca in December, and now is splitting up in various directions. Wegmann will train on Cyprus for two weeks with Johannes Fröhlinger, Matthias Russ, Christian Knees and Paul Voss.
Milram have also taken a unique approach to their rider's preparations this season. The team's squad for the Tour Down Under and a number of other early-season races will be challenged to a period of self-sufficency in the lead up to the events, including the preparation of their own meals. Although yet to experience it first hand, Wegmann is not worried about the 'challenge'. “At home I have to take care of myself anyway, so I think I will be able to do it there, too.”
And, he concluded with a laugh, “I won't starve.”