Linus Gerdemann of Team Milram says he is convinced that the German ProTour team will be rewarded for its hard work this season. With just seven wins this season Milram is well behind the pre-season goal of 25 wins set by general manager Gerry van Gerwen, but Gerdemann says the team is on the right path for success.
The 26-year-old hopes to do his part with a stage win in the Vuelta a España. He told Cyclingnews that he hasn't picked out any particular stages at the race and "will look from day-to-day and do something when I feel good."
After the Vuelta, Gerdemann's plan is to ride the World championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, but will wait and see how he performs in Spain before making a final decision "[I will have to see] what shape I'm in at the end [of the Vuelta], and how I feel. Only then can I formulate my goals for the Worlds."
Gerdemann has not been satisfied with his own season so far. His year had been structured around the Tour de France and his 24th place finish overall had not met his pre-race hopes. "The Tour, as it went, didn't meet my expectations. This season I have had one or two good successes, but at the Tour I was not able to do what I had expected of myself."
Gerdemann has reflected upon what went wrong for him in France and he said he had wanted "too much too quickly" in his preparations for the race. Next season would "try to be more focused, especially leading up to the Tour de France."
Milram has only seven victories so far this year, far below the 25 wins boldly predicted by Ganeral Manager Gerry van Gerwen before the start of the season. From Gerdemann's perspective, he felt the team has ridden aggressively and actively in nearly every race, and often come close to winning.
"There is a sort of momentum in cycling that is part of bringing in a lot of win. We simply have not gotten that momentum," he said. "So, basically, I am convinced that sooner or later we will be rewarded for our hard work in the races."
That reward may come next year, where the team will continue to focus on German races. This year, many of the team's best results came on home territory. Fabian Wegmann's win in the Eschborn-Frankfurt-City Loop, Gerdemann's overall victory in the Bayern Rundfahrt and Gerald Ciolek's third place in the Vattenfall Cyclassics demonstrated that the team possess riders capable of high finishes. "Especially here we can draw a positive conclusion," he said. "We have gotten almost everything out of the German races."
Gerdemann says he expects Milram to be a stronger squad next year as it looks to build on the 2009 season. "I think we showed in the Tour de France this year that we have a broad-based team," he said. "We rode well as a team and basically were always good for a surprise. We are a very young team. I think that everyone has learned something this year and will continue to develop in 2010."
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