Breschel aiming for the Classics and good health

Matti Breschel (Rabobank) chats with race leader Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto)

Matti Breschel (Rabobank) chats with race leader Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Matti Breschel's 2011 season was marked by rehabilitation of an injured knee rather than victories, and the Dane is looking to turn things around this season. He had joined Rabobank last year to lead the team in the Classics, but missed them all, and is now looking to win a “big race”.

“The goal is to win. That's what I go and train for right now, anyway,” he told “It's no secret that I miss being first over the line.”

His best Classics performance so far was winning Dwars door Vlaanderen in 2010. He thinks he is capable of winning even bigger races, even if not this year. “I haven't thrown in the towel yet. It is the big dream.”

The first step, he well knows, is have his knee at one hundred percent and avoiding further physical problems. “You must be lucky, and preparations have to be perfect. You must avoid illness and I would rather not rush into early races,” he said.

"The season I will take things in small steps. So I think most right now about riding at at the Tour of Flanders and Milan-San Remo.”

The now 27-year-old underwent knee surgery in November 2010, returning to training in January. However, knee pain continued and his only race the early part of the year was the Volta ao Algarve, which he had to abandon on the third stage. A further minor operation followed, and he was able to return to racing the end of May.

He was not nominated for the Tour de France, and had to abandon the Tour of Denmark with flu. He hoped to use the Vuelta a Espana to prepare for the World Championships in his homeland, but that also was not to be.

A crash in the neutralized section of the sixth stage left him with multiple injuries, including two broken fingers on his right hand. Surgery put at end to what he called his “crap” year.

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