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Grabsch calls German time trial title one of most important career wins

World Champion Bert Grabsch (Columbia-HTC)

World Champion Bert Grabsch (Columbia-HTC) (Image credit: Sirotti)

Bert Grabsch took his fourth German time trial title on Friday, and described it “on of the most important” wins in his career. The 35-year-old HTC-Highroad rider is now looking forward to riding the Tour de France, with the World Championships and 2012 London Olympics as more distant goals.

“I think this was one of the most important German championships for me,” he told "I am very happy. This win is one of the most important of my career.”

Grabsch is known as a hard working rouleur and his last solo win was two years ago, ironically, the German time trial title. He had been struggling with health problems before riding the recent Tour de Suisse and the German time trial championships.

He considered his performance on the 42.5km course in Neuwied as “one of the most perfect” time trials he has ever ridden.  “I think the best one I did was in 2008 when I won the Worlds title.  Everything worked out perfectly then too.”

After his usual early season racing, Grabsch had a break for most of April but that's when his problems began. “Absolutely nothing went right. Neither in the Tour of Romandie nor in California.  Then I was diagnosed with a virus,” he explained.

Further rest was not possible becausethe team was short-handed and he had to ride the Tour of Bayern.  Things finally started going better at the Tour de Suisse.

Grabsch must now wait and hear if he wil lbe selected for the HTC-Highroad team for the Tour de France. He is optimistic. “The chance are good.  I have a hard job, I have to ride at the front for long spells. I don't know how good my body will be for that after my illness.”

His final goal for the year is the world championships in Copenhagen, while next year's Olympics also appeals.  “Of course a medal would be super.  That is one of my lifetime dreams which I would like to fulfil.  But first I have to qualify for the Olympics."