Milram's Gerald Ciolek breaks collarbone
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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Milram's Ciolek breaks collarbone

by Bjorn Haake at 10:21 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Qatar
 

Gerald Ciolek's season is off to a bad start. The German broke his collarbone in a crash in the third stage of the Tour of Qatar. On a windy stage in a furious final sprint, the German came down, along with teammate Roger Kluge.

Kluge was not hurt, but stood by his captain for a while before crossing the line (he was given the same time as stage winner Tom Boonen thanks to the three-kilometer rule). Ciolek grimaced as he sat on the hot bitumen in the Qatari desert, almost certainly already knowing his fate.

"Gerald will be flown to Germany as quickly as possible," explained Ralf Grabsh, Team Milram's Directeur Sportif.  "The collarbone fracture was diagnosed here by two doctors.  The doctors in Germany will determine how complicated the fracture is and whether surgery is necessary."

Ciolek was gearing up for the Classics and after a lackluster 2009 season, the team seemed to be on track this year. New hire Roger Kluge finished third in the second stage, won an intermediate sprint today and lies in fourth overall. The team finished a respectable tenth in the opening team time trial, a discipline they are no specialists in.

The contract with sponsor Nordmilch expires at the end of the season. The milk product company indicated they do not want to renew the sponsorship, although they are open to negotiations, depending on the team's results. The loss of Ciolek in there quest for a new sponsor is a serious blow to the German team. The news wasn't all bad today, as Milram teammate Linus Gerdemann won the day's stage at the Mallorca Challenge.

Ciolek's injury marks the third collarbone break in as many days in Qatar, with Team Sky's Kurt-Asle Arvesen and Garmin-Transitions' Steven Cozza the other unlucky victims.

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