Ciolek scouting out Classics routes
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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ciolek scouting out Classics routes

by Bjorn Haake at 2:37 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Gerald Ciolek had a disappointing 2009 but is hoping to make an impact in this year's Classics. A day before the travel to the Tour of Qatar, Ciolek went to Belgium together with teammates Servais Knaven, Roy Sentjens, Niki Terpstra and Wim de Vocht. The quintet checked out the key sections for the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on February 27, which opens the Classics season

Classics specialist Servais Knaven took charge of the trip. "The roads in Germany and Switzerland were not at all clear to ride in the last few weeks," Ciolek told "Servais Knaven then told us a few days ago that it was pretty dry in Belgium and we could train there. After about two weeks on the roller, it was important to give some gas before the Tour of Qatar and rev up our bodies."

The training session was quite intense. "We rode at tempo for more than five hours and saw the important parts of the first cobblestone race. Our Classics experts Servais, Roy, Niki and Wim know this region really well and could give me some tips."

It may have been dry, but there were clouds and while the temperatures were above freezing, it wasn't exactly a sauna, at five degrees Celsius. Knaven explained how to dress, with a vest, a long-sleeve jersey and a long-sleeve undershirt. "You can't dress too warm. If we are getting cold we just ride faster!" he said before heading out on the cobbles.

Ciolek for his part still had to come to terms with the weather changes. "Yesterday I went skiing, tomorrow I'll be in the desert." From Belgium, Ciolek joined the Qatar team and flew to 35 degrees weather. The danger is a potential cold, which can jeopardize the Classics preparation.

But so far things have gone well for Ciolek. "I started training early, and then we had our training camp on Mallorca, which was also very successful. Our new riders, Roger Kluge, Roy Sentjens and Wim de Vocht were directly integrated, we get along quite well. So we are all looking forward to our first race."

Which will be Qatar rather than Mallorca this year for the German allround sprinter. "We wanted to change things a little this year. I trained a lot with the Classics team this winter, so it made sense to start the season with them. The Tour of Qatar is basically flat. We get along well together and now we have to prove ourselves in competition, in order to bring in successes as quickly as possible."


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