Andreas Klier of T-Mobile has recently won a stage in the Vuelta a España. But usually the German, who has been living in Belgium for the past nine years, excels in the spring classics, where he feels the most pressure to perform. He told radsport-aktiv.de that "from February until April I have to have good results. In previous years the pressure wasn't so high, as I had strong captains who I was riding for."
The lack of pressure may have helped the win in Spain along, but Klier revealed that he had targeted this exact stage in advance. "In the sprints we were riding for Greipel and in the mountains I don't stand a chance anyway. That left three stages and that one was the best for a rider with my characteristics."
The horrifying weather that day with torrential rain falls and hail didn't bother him too much, as it reminded him on the Belgian classics. And while he didn't want to say that it's the reason he won he admitted that "I was happy I didn't have 50 degrees centigrade under my helmet. That isn't really what I like."
A day after his win he dropped out to prepare for the Worlds, but already knew his chances were slim. He ended up not being nominated and was not disappointed about it. "If I were the national selector I would have preferred a skinnier rider also. The course is so difficult." And while he can't judge how the top riders on the team, Wegmann, Schumacher, Zabel and Ciolek are doing right now, he hopes for a medal at least for the German team. His take on the course is that riders who can done well in Liège-Bastogne-Liège or Lombardia will have the best chances, "riders like Di Luca or Bettini."
The remainder of his year will consist of the Circuit Franco Belge, where he is hoping to do well, and Paris-Tours, where he wouldn't mind riding for Ciolek, should the new sprinter star take the start. Klier really likes to have this feeling again "to ride from the front. I am really looking forward to ride for Gerald Ciolek and Mark Cavendish next year."
Not that he doesn't have ambitions for himself and he will be again targeting the springs classics, the six weeks from mid-March through April. "The Tour of Flanders I would really like to win. I was three times in the top ten and I think I have at least two more years where I can contest the race for victory. I am 31, the best age for the spring classics."
The German, who used to live in Munich, would like to end his career with T-Mobile, but should that not be possible he wouldn't mind moving to a Belgian team. He likes the country where "I have been living since 1998. I feel great here and certainly wouldn't negotiate with an Italian team."
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