Ciolek determined to push hard for big result in Le Samyn race tomorrow
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ciolek determined to push hard for big result in Le Samyn race tomorrow

by VeloNation Press at 1:33 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Video
MTN Qhubeka captain showing strong form thus far this year

Gerald CiolekHaving ridden well in both Trofeo Laigueglia and the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, where he placed fifth and eleventh respectively, Gerald Ciolek will continue his push for big results in the Le Samyn race in Belgium tomorrow.

The former world under 23 champion will lead the MTN Qhubeka team in the race and while he remains slightly ill, he’s hoping for a strong performance.

“Last Saturday before Omloop Het Nieuwsblad I was a little concerned because I got a cold in the morning so I wasn’t feeling 100%, but during the race was going quite well,” he said today. “Now the cold isn’t getting better but it’s not getting worse so I can take encouragement from this. At the moment I am feeling good on the bike still. I had a really good winter and I can see the result of that now.”

Ciolek is still just 26 years of age and should continue to improve in the years ahead. It’s early in the current season but he’s already showing signs of a resurgence of form after a couple of quieter years.

His most successful season thus far dates back to 2007 with the T-Mobile team. He won the Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt, was second in the Munsterland Giro, took two stages in the Österreich-Rundfahrt - Wiesbauer Tour and three in the Deutschland Tour.

In the seasons since then he picked up second on stages of the Tour de France and won a stage of the 2009 Vuelta a España.

His performances this year are encouraging, and he has said he has increased motivation due to his role as captain of the African MTN Qhubeka squad. He’ll be joined by former Giro d’Italia TT winner Ignatas Konovalovas plus Ferekalsi Debesay, Andreas Stauff, Martin Reimer, Youcef Reguigui, Kristian Sbaragli and Johann Van Zyl.

Ciolek believes that the outcome of the race could depend on what sort of day is in store. “I don’t know Le Samyn as I have not done it before so I can’t say what kind of race, it is but as usual it depends on weather conditions because that can make the race much harder,” he said.

“What I’ve seen from the team so far is really good. The level of this race is maybe not as high as in Omloop so we have another chance of getting a good result.”

Watch the video below to see more about the team’s approach, background and goals.


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