Slovakian road race champion Martin Velits is competing in one of his final races for the Milram team prior to starting a two year contract with the Columbia HTC squad. Velits will move to the squad together with twin brother Peter, the 2007 Under 23 World Road Champion.
“We are really happy,” he said. “It is a new challenge for us, for me and my brother. I think it is the best step for us to take for our careers.”
He said that they haven’t yet had a chance discuss their likely programme with the team management, but anticipated that they will get to ride some important races. “Peter had a good Tour de France so I think we will be there for the stage races,” he said. “And I will try to do well in the Classics. We will see what the season brings next year.”
Velits would like to have finished up his Milram contract with a strong ride in the Vuelta a España but it has been more a case of survival after a mishap earlier in the race. “I had a crash in Liège and since then my ribs have been sore, although they are not fractured,” he said. “I was struggling a bit for a few days because of that. It is getting slowly better but the doctor said it will take two to three weeks.
“The physiotherapist is working with me every day to loosen the muscle out; it should be okay.”
He said that his plan was to get through the mountain stages and then to see if he could slip into a break at some point before the race enters Madrid next Sunday.
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