Gerdemann forced to miss Flèche Wallonne
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gerdemann forced to miss Flèche Wallonne

by Conal Andrews at 6:39 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Flèche Wallonne
 

As arguably the best climber on Team Milram, former Tour de France yellow jersey Linus Gerdemann was set to lead the team’s charge in tomorrow’s Flèche Wallonne. However he has been forced to pull out of the race, delaying his return to competition after a recent bout of bronchitis.

“That is of course very bitter for us,” said directeur sportif Christian Henn this morning. “With Linus Gerdemann we are missing an important rider at Flèche Wallonne. But we want to be sure that he is completely healthy again.”

The 27 year old rider has had a varied season thus far. Highlights include his stage win on day one of the Tirreno Adriatico plus victory in the Trofeo Inca, part of the Challenge Majorca races. However he became ill around the time of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and had a best stage placing of only 60th. He was forced to pull out of the race and hasn’t competed since.

Gerdemann had a modest season by his standards in 2009 and is determined to get back to the kind of form which won him a mountain stage in the 2007 Tour, giving him that spell in the yellow jersey, as well as races such as the Deutschland Tour.

His aim now will be to return to racing as soon as he is healthy enough to do so; at this point in time, he is scheduled to take part in Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

In his absence, Fabian Wegmann is likely to lead the team tomorrow. The double German road race champion was 25th at the weekend and Henn hopes he can rise to the challenge of leading the team in the days ahead.

“Fabian Wegmann made a good comeback from his broken collarbone on Sunday at Amstel Gold Race,” he said. “We hope for an even better performance from him in the next races.”

Wegmann was 18th last year. He will be joined by seven others in the race, namely Chrisitan Knees, Johannes Fröhlinger, Paul Voß, Dominik Roels, Dominik Nerz, Peter Wrolich and Artur Gajek, who is standing in for Gerdemann.

The sole German victor in tomorrow’s event is Rolf Gölz, who triumphed in 1988.

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