After a strong performance at the Ardennes Classics Milram's Fabian Wegmann completed his comeback from a broken collarbone by taking victory at the Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt on Saturday. Seven weeks and one day after breaking his collarbone at Tirenno-Adriatico, the German rider attacked to win the event for the second year in a row.
“All of the bad luck of the past few weeks is gone. Now I have fulfilled my childhood dream by winning my favourite race twice,” Wegmann told Radsport-News.com.
After battling an ongoing back injury for most of 2009, the 29-year-old's 2010 season got off to a satisfactory start, but it came to an abrupt end with only five kilometres left in the third stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. The German was brought down in a crash, breaking his collarbone. He flew home to Freiburg that same day, and underwent surgery the next day.
The healing process went smoothly and he was able to return to racing at the Amstel Gold Race. Neither he nor the team expected much of him in this first race back, but he finished 25th, the best placed Milram rider. Wegmann then avoided major injury in a mass crash in Flèche Wallonne, before finishing Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 17th, again the best placed rider of his team.
That brought him up to the race in Frankfurt, last year known as the Eschborn-Frankfurt City Loop and previously called the Rund um den Henninger Turm. Things looked bleak for him as he struggled up some of the climbs in a chase group. “That really hurt,” he said, “I had to take it easy after that.”
But with 400 metres to go, Wegmann opened his race winning margin. “I couldn't even see anything the last few metres. That's why I didn't celebrate when I crossed the finish line. I didn't know if anyone was coming up behind me.”
Afterwards, Wegmann celebrated enthusiastically with his teammates and team manager Gerry Van Gerwen. Van Gerwen described the win as, “unbelievably important for our team.” The win by a German rider in a German race will be a support for him in his search for a new sponsor for 2011 and beyond.
The squad is already off to a better start than last year. In 2009, Wegmann's win in Frankfurt was the team's first of the season, but this year it is the squad's fifth victory.
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