Milram aiming to return to form in 2010 and secure new sponsor
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Milram aiming to return to form in 2010 and secure new sponsor

by Conal Andrews at 10:39 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

German ProTour team Milram had a disappointing season in 2009, winning less than ten races and finishing eighteenth in the final rankings of the UCI World Calendar. The team will have to rely on wildcard invites to several major races run such as Paris-Nice, Milan San Remo and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but is nevertheless looking towards 2010 in an optimistic frame of mind.

“Our aim for 2009 was 25 wins. With nine victories, we were far off that goal, so on paper, we cannot be satisfied with this season”, said team manager Gerry van Gerwen.

“However, this year was far from being all bad. It was Team Milram’s best ever appearance at the Tour de France, and we did very well in the German races, where we were aggressive, influenced the course of the races and offered attractive cycling. The [stage] victory of Gerald Ciolek at the Vuelta was another great goal that we achieved. It was a quality win at a big race. These were achievements that we will build on and that we will have to show in every single race in 2010.”

As Van Gerwen hinted, the team is under pressure to deliver next season. It got only a one year extension to its ProTour contract and is also in the hunt for a new sponsor, with Milram’s Nordmilch backer due to pull out in just over twelve month’s time. It will therefore need to make the most of the platform it has in the major races to prove that it is worthy of both a longer-term licence and also a new title sponsor.

In total six riders will leave and five will join, making it a squad of 24 cyclists. Those arriving include the Belgians Wim De Vocht and Roy Sentjens who, along with Gerald Ciolek and several strong one-day riders, will target the spring Classics. Luke Roberts and Roger Kluge will be used to strengthen the sprint train of Ciolek, while German under 23 champion Dominik Nerz will add his promising all-round abilities to the team.

Van Gerwen will be hoping that former Tour de France Maillot Jaune and stage winner Linus Gerdemann will return to full form. He had a disappointing Tour, finishing back in 24th place, but earlier managed to win the Bayern Rundfahrt, net fifth in the Montepaschi Strade Bianche – Eroica and seventh overall in Tirreno Adriatico.

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Team Milram 2010 line-up:

Gerald Ciolek (Germany), Wim De Vocht (Belgium), Markus Eichler (Germany), Robert Förster (Germany), Markus Fothen (Germany), Thomas Fothen (Germany), Johannes Fröhlinger (Germany), Artur Gajek (Germany), Linus Gerdemann (Germany), Roger Kluge (Germany), Servais Knaven (Netherlands), Christian Knees (Germany), Dominik Nerz (Germany), Luke Roberts (Australia), Dominik Roels (Germany), Thomas Rohregger (Austria), Matthias Ruß (Germany), Björn Schröder (Germany), Roy Sentjens (Belgium), Wim Stroetinga (Netherlands), Niki Terpstra (Netherlands), Paul Voß (Germany), Fabian Wegmann (Germany), Peter Wrolich (Austria)

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