Gert Steegmans' brilliant debut with RadioShack
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Steegmans' brilliant debut with RadioShack

by Bjorn Haake at 11:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Click for larger image...Gert Steegmans is off to a good start with his new Team RadioShack at the Tour Down Under. Only HTC-Columbia's André Greipel was faster than the Belgian, who hasn't raced in seven months.

His last race was the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré in June, where he finished 101st in the overall. "It had been too long ago," Steegmans told Sporza.

But the last few months he was able to train well. "I knew I was in good shape. But going this well gives me a lot of confidence."

Like in the past, Steegmans looks to be in shape early. "I want to go well when the classics start," he said. "I first have to ride a good Omloop [traditional opening classic - ed.] and then we will see. I am not thinking about the rest of the year yet."

RadioShack's main goal will be the eighth Tour de France victory for Lance Armstrong, but Steegmans sees other possibilities as well. "I think we have a very good team for the classics. We don't have a top favorite, like Quick Step, but we do have five racers who can ride in the finale."

Steegmans will have support in the classics from domestiques, but in Australia it is Lance Armstrong himself, who works for the Belgian. "That is pretty neat," Steegmans smiled. "He rode quite a bit on the front and launched the sprint."

There are no regrets from the Belgian to leave Katusha. "I am very satisfied with my choice for RadioShack. Armstrong puts a lot of time into the team, so I get quite a lot of updates from him." He has gotten used to his new teammates. "The atmosphere in the team is very relaxed, we are a group of friends."

Even Armstrong doesn't stand out internally. "Really, Lance is an ordinary, friendly guy. He doesn't do anything differently than, say, Impey or Rosseler." Of course outside the team things are different. "He is a normal racer who is very strong and who gets a lot of media attention."

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