Morath transfers to Felt Ötztal X-Bionic World Cup Team

After years of riding for the Rothaus-Cube Team, Adelheid Morath is making the move to the new Felt Ötztal X-Bionic World Cup Team for 2010. The German, who signed a three-year contract, will focus on the World Cups next season and the 2012 Olympic Games longer term.

"I see the change as a great opportunity to develop as an athlete. My new team's philosophy, with the 2012 Olympics as the main focus, matches my personal goal," said Morath. "Next season my goal is to finish in the top 10 at the World Cups."

Morath finished 18th at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, despite a mechanical. That's motivated her to look to the next Olympic Games in London in 2012. "It became clear to me directly after the race (in Beijing) that I will do everything to make it to London. The Olympic feeling inspired me in such a way that I have the dream of London before me. Naturally, I hope then that I can achieve a good place there - without problems."

The 25-year-old is one of several talented German women on the international circuit. Among them is veteran Sabine Spitz, who won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in 2008. The two may end up competing for a berth on the 2012 Olympic team.

"As long as Sabine is still racing, it will be a hard fight, which motivates me at the same time. In addition, one must not forget the other women. Three years is a long time, in which a lot can happen," she said.

Three years ago, Morath overcame a broken kneecap and returned to racing. Recovery was one of the most difficult periods of her young career. "I was not allowed to exert any pressure or load on my knee, so I swam a lot. I was not able to sit on the bike for two months." She came back with a win at the 2007 Trans Black Forest and an 18th place at the World Championships.

Morath joins Sabrina Enaux on the new team. "So far I've hardly had any contact with Sabrina. I look forward, however, to the next season and I'm very curious about who else is joining the team."

Morath, who grew up in the Black Forest, will spend time this winter cross training. "Cross country skiing with its complete body movement is an ideal exercise for mountain biking."

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.