Transfer News: Gerald Ciolek heads to Belgian Quick Step team for 2011
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Transfer News: Gerald Ciolek heads to Belgian Quick Step team for 2011

by VeloNation Press at 12:15 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Young talent decides not to return to his former HTC-Columbia team

Gerald CiolekGerald Ciolek has decided to head to the Belgian Quick Step team for 2011 instead of returning to his former HTC-Columbia squad.  His current Milram team, which is also the only German ProTour outfit, is folding at the end of the season, and speculation that he would return to ride alongside Mark Cavendish had grown when the team publicly welcomed his return.  Now, the 23 year old will ply his trade alongside Italian Francesco Chicchi and Tom Boonen to give the team a formidable sprinting core.

Ciolek has had a tough 2010 season thus far.  He started the year off with an injury at the Tour of Qatar that saw him out of competition until the Tour of Romandie in late April.  Initially he was thought to have broken his collarbone, but further examination revealed a separated right shoulder and a broken scaphoid bone in his wrist.  The additional injuries proved to be a major setback for the young talent, whose only win so far this season has been a stage of the Bayern Rundfahrt.  He rode the Tour de France and finished second to Cavendish in the sixth stage and secured two other top ten placings.

“Ciolek’s arrival, as well as the return of Chicchi, represent a major point of strength for our team, especially where sprints are concerned," explained Quick Step Manager Patrick Lefevere.  "And not just that: Ciolek, together with some other new important arrivals, like that of Dutch champion Niki Terpstra, is a fundamental step in enhancing our team for next season in order to be more competitive in the so-called ‘Classic’ races.”

The former Under 23 World Champion's biggest victories include a stage in the Vuelta a Espana last year and an impressive German national championship title in 2005 at the age of 18.

“It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to ride with a team Quick Step jersey," Ciolek said of his new signing.  "It is a dream come true for me. I always looked upon this team with admiration and great esteem. I want to thank my current team for all they did for me throughout the years. I am looking forward to starting this new adventure with the team Quick Step, where I will be teaming up with my countryman and friend Andreas Stauff.

Despite his problems this year, Ciolek is ready to get back to his development as a rider, and looks forward to getting his career back on track.

"I am very motivated for next season. 2010 was a tough year for me, after my fall at Tour of Qatar I was forced to the sidelines for 10 weeks and this inevitably compromised all of my season. I never managed to be 100% competitive. Besides putting in my effort for sprints, I am ready to be at the team’s service in northern European ‘Classic’ races as well. I love those races, they have a unique charm, and I have already had a chance to compete in them. Going back on those routes with the team  Quick Step jersey is going to be a big emotion for me.”

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