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"In the classics, especially Milan-San Remo, I would like to be in good shape and be an active part of the race."

Photo: Sirotti

GERALD CIOLEK

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12.12.2014 @ 07:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With just a single win, Gerald Ciolek was unable to reach the lofty heights of 2013. Nonetheless, the German draws a positive balance as he prepares himself for another tilt at the classics.

 

He missed out on another Milan-Sanremo win and only managed to win a single race. Nonetheless, Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) draws a positive balance, at least of the first half of the season.

 

 

"I can be quite satisfied with the first few months. In Milan-San Remo I could present myself as last year's winner in very good shape and ride for the win in the end even if it did not work out for me," Ciolek told radsport-news.com about the race in which he finished 9th.

 

Before the first great classic of the year in mid-March, he had taken his first - and ultimately only - season victory. In the Vuelta a Andalucía (1.1) in mid-February, Ciolek won the bunch sprint in stage 3.

 

And after Milan-Sanremo, Ciolek achieved another series of top results. In Rund um Köln, the former U23 world champion narrowly missed out on the victory by taking third and in the end of May he was also third in the final stage of te Tour of Norway. In the Scandinavian stage race, Ciolek also achieved his best overall result of the season, finishing the race in fifth. "I have good memories from that race. My form was perfect and the race was very well organized," he said.

 

With the Bayern Rundfahry, the Tour de Suisse and the German Championships, three season highlights followed right after the Norwegian race. With a 7th place, Ciolek at least entered the top 10 once in Bayern but due to illness, he had to abandon the Swiss race without a personal result. Things were not any better shortly afterwards at the German Championships where he climbed off the bike prematurely.

 

After a four-week break from racing, he celebrated a successful return at the Tour of Denmark (2.HC) where he finished second in a stage. This created expectations for the subsequent Vuelta a Espana, but Ciolek was unable to get into the top 10. "My performance in the second half of the season could have been better," the 28-year-old said.

 

Nevertheless Ciolek is in good spirits despite the new internal sprint competition from riders like Edvald Boasson Hagen, Theo Bos and Tyler Farrar.

 

"In the classics, especially Milan-San Remo, I would like to be in good shape and be an active part of the race," said Ciolek who also hopes for a successful summer. "If it works for MTN-Qhubeka to get a wildcard for the Tour de France, that would be a big deal for me and another goal. I think we can play a strong role there with our team. Furthermore, it would be nice to be able to represent Qhubeka as a project in France."

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