Frei celebrates second place in Swiss time trial championship
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Frei celebrates second place in Swiss time trial championship

by Shane Stokes at 8:20 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
“It shows I’m on a good way”

Thomas FreiClocking up the silver medal behind Fabian Cancellara in yesterday’s Swiss time trial championships, Thomas Frei has said that the result shows that he is back on track and building up towards what he hopes are some big results ahead.

The Christina Watches-Onfone rider covered the 50 kilometre course one minute 54 seconds slower than Cancellara, but six seconds faster than Tour de Suisse stage winner Martin Elmiger (Ag2r La Mondiale).

It is his biggest result since coming back from a two year suspension earlier this year. “I’m happy, it was my first time trial after so long, and a long one of 51 kilometres,” he told VeloNation today. “I have not done many time trials of this distance; I think the only one over 40 kilometres was at in the 2009 Dauphiné. I have worked a lot over the past two years on my time trial. In Mapei Sport I learned how to train on the TT bike and to work on that. It’s important, and time trial training is also helpful as good training anyway.”

The former BMC Racing Team competitor tested positive for EPO after a random test in March 2010 and recently completed a two-year suspension. He confirmed just over a month ago that he would compete with the squad until the end of the season.

Frei worked with the Mapei institute during his suspension, releasing blood profiles, testing data and other information to try to show that he is serious about riding clean.

In April he promised to continue releasing such data after his ban ended. “For sure I will continue the transparent way,” he told VeloNation. “I think that can also be interesting for the fans and the people who are interested in cycling to see training data, physical tests, hemoglobin mass and biological passport data from a pro rider.”

Frei competed in the recent Tour of Serbia and helped team-mate Stefan Schumacher to overall victory. The Swiss rider was himself twentieth overall, a solid placing. He explained that he was cautious in terms of his ambitions beforehand, and has been reassured by how he felt.

“Serbia was my first real UCI race back and first stage race. I know from my training data that my shape is good, but racing is different…especially when you haven’t ridden in the peloton for such a long time,” he said. “Because of that I preferred not to do the GC, and also because I knew my team-mates were going well. For me, I was looking at it stage by stage and to support them too.

“I was aggressive in this race, I was active all day and then in the finale I made attacks on the big climbs or closed gaps by chasing for many kilometres. It was good work there, and I knew I was one of the strongest ones in the field. That gave me confidence.

“The national time trial championship is the same; it’s my best result there to date, and it shows I am on a good way.”

Next up for the 27 year old is the national road race championships this coming weekend. He’ll cross swords again there with Cancellara, as well as many other rivals. After that he’ll ride a stage race in Poland as part of his preparation for a bigger target. “I’ll be working towards the Tour of Denmark – that is an important race for our team,” he said.


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