Ciolek makes racing return tomorrow in Tour de Romandie
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Monday, April 26, 2010

Ciolek makes racing return tomorrow in Tour de Romandie

by Conal Andrews at 6:03 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Romandie
 

Now fully recovered from a damaged shoulder and broken hand suffered in the Tour of Qatar in February, Gerald Ciolek will finally get back to racing tomorrow when he lines out in the Tour de Romandie. The Swiss race will enable the German sprinter to begin honing his form, although he emphasises that it may take him a while to get back up to speed again.

“I can use my shoulder fully again and race, so I am really looking forward to the Tour de Romandie,” he stated. “For me, it is first of all important to get in some racing kilometres and to find my rhythm again.”

His fans will clearly be happy that he’s back in action, but he suggests that everyone needs to be patient. “Starting directly in a ProTour race after my long pause, I can't expect too much,” he underlined.

Ciolek will most likely work for Robert Förster in the sprints, although if he feels good he may have a pop himself. Former Tour de France white jersey-wearer Markus Fothen would normally be considered a good bet to aim for a strong result on at least one stage, but that will depend on how his form is after pulling out of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.

The squad will be completed by Johannes Fröhlinger, Björn Schröder, Thomas Rohregger and Matthias Ruß (GER/Bad Cannstatt), and directed by Ralf Grabsch.

Ciolek has prepared for the race by altitude training and then a period of time spent working hard in Majorca. He’s been ten weeks out of racing and is eager to get back into action.

Still only 23 years of age, the former Espoir world champion highlighted his talent when he won the German road race title at 18. When on form, he is one of the fastest men in cycling and if he continues to progress, a huge career is in store.

Despite his youth, Ciolek is a five-time stage winner in the Deutschland Tour, and last season took his first Grand Tour victory when he nabbed stage two of the Vuelta a España. He is seen as a possible future winner of the green jersey in the Tour de France. His decent abilities on tougher courses mark him out as a contender for this year’s world championships in Australia.

The Tour de Romandie will be used by many riders as their final preparation for the Giro d’Italia. It begins on Tuesday with a 4.3 kilometre prologue in Porrentruy, then continues for five more days.

It also features two high mountain stages, a medium mountain leg, a 23.4 kilometre time trial, and a flat stage.

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2010 Tour de Romandie:

April 27, Prologue: Porrentruy (4.3 km)
April 28, stage 1: Porrentruy - Fleurier (175.6 km)
April 29, stage 2: Fribourg - Fribourg (171.8 km)
April 30, stage 3: (ITT): Moudon (23.4 km time trial)
May 1, stage 4 : Vevey - Châtel/Vallée d'Abondance (FRA) (157.9 km)
May 2, stage 5: Sion - Sion (121.8 km)

Total distance: 654.8 km

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