Klöden racing despite self-imposed team 'break'

Klöden at the Tour

Klöden at the Tour (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

By Susan Westemeyer

Team Astana may not be riding right now, but Andreas Klöden is -- and not only riding, but winning. He won the 16th City-Nacht von Rhede in Rhede, Germany, Friday night, beating out countrymen Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner) and Marcel Sieberg of Milram.

"I was angry when I rode, because I have such good form and am not allowed to start," said Klöden. Astana had announced that it was removing itself from racing for the month of August in light of recent doping problems. Klöden, who wore Astana kit and rode a team bike, had special permission to appear in the race. "The mood here was so great that it just makes it that much harder for me, that I can't ride any more races," he told the press agency dpa. "My morale is at the bottom."

Klöden did not know what will happen with the team in September after its break from racing, or whether he would ride the World's in Stuttgart the end of that month. He plans to train for the World's just in case "but a one month racing break is of course not the ideal preparation."

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