Fabian Wegmann has confirmed that he has joined Garmin-Cervélo for the 2012 season. The German rode for Leopard Trek this year, but found that he was surplus to requirements at the squad following its merger with RadioShack.
Speaking to Cyclingnews this week, Wegmann was enthusiastic about his new team. “It is a super team, a top team. I already know many of the riders and know that I can work with them. I have many friends there,” he said. “I can play a key role in many races there.”
Garmin-Cervélo's reputation as a clean team was a factor in his decision to sign with them. “Absolutely, it was very important. The team is a good fit for me, and I am for them, too.”
Wegmann, 31, was told that he was not part of RadioShack-Nissan-Trek's plans for coming season and should seek a new team, even though he had a two-year contract with Leopard Trek. That contract had to be dealt with before Wegmann could move. “It wasn't easy and that's why it all took so long. But we found a solution and I am satisfied,” he said, without going into details.
“As soon as I heard that I should find a new team, I immediately started looking around. I immediately had a good feeling from Garmin.”
Wegmann's name had also been mentioned in connection with Katusha, which now features former Gerolsteiner management, with Hans-Michael Holczer as team manager and Christian Henn as sport director. “I was connected to them because we worked together for so many years and for me it was a very successful time. It would have been nice to work with Henn again. But in this situation, Garmin was the best decision.”
One reason he is looking forward to his new team is that he can again concentrate on his favourite races, the Spring Classics. “Leopard put everything on the Tour. I am more one for the Classics, and I want to keep developing in that direction.”
2011 was the first season since his rookie year of 2002 that the German has not had any wins. “At the end of the season I was doing quite well. I finished third in the GP de la Somme (the middle of September) and was disappointed, as I thought I should have done better.
“The Classics were fun, but I had to support my captain,” he told Cyclingnews. “It is too bad, after my many, many years as a pro, as I had become accustomed to winning, but I am confident that next year things will work out.”
His goals for 2012 start with the Classics, of course, and from there, “the course of the Worlds in Valkenburg is good for me. The Olympic course too is very interesting. Cavendish won the test race there, but it was shorter than it will be in the Olympics.”
Before then, however, he is off on vacation with his wife and infant son for two weeks, to be followed by the first meeting with his new team in Boulder, Colorado, in November.
Wegmann turned pro in 2002 with Team Gerolsteiner, staying with them until the team disbanded after the 2008 season. Following two years with Milram, he joined Leopard Trek in 2011. He won the mountains jersey at the 2004 Giro d'Italia, and is a two-time German national champion. He has twice won the GP Miguel Indurain and Rund um den Henninger Turm/Rund um den Eschborn-Frankfurt Finanzplatz.