Rasmus Guldhammer and HTC Columbia part ways
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rasmus Guldhammer and HTC Columbia part ways

by Bjorn Haake at 3:22 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Danish climber suffers from lost motivation

Rasmus GuldhammerWhen then 20-year-old Rasmus Guldhammer signed a contract with the HTC Columbia team last year, he seemed to be set for a good career. Acknowledged by many as an outstanding climber, the Danish rider started suffering from a lack of motivation after just one season as a professional.

The problems surfaced early in the season. "In May, I was already a little tired of riding a bike," he told DR Sports. "I missed the comradeship - at the Danish team you are very social and you feel comfortable with each other. We did take a course at Columbia, but something was missing, I think."

When the Danish 2009 U23 champion received the contract from HTC Columbia it was a dream come true. "I was incredibly delighted with the life as a professional. It was the life I always dreamed of and I was very glad that I had signed with HTC Columbia. But it turned out to be something else after all," he says.

It was as simple as being too young. "I missed my family and my friends. It was perhaps too early to become professional. Both because I was not ready mentally, but also because I missed life at home a lot."

Guldhammer stopped showing up for the races he was enrolled in. He stopped because he was tired of cycling and because the professional life overwhelmed him. "People were nice, but sometimes I just lacked the unity that I have had on the Danish team. I missed not thinking so much about yourself, but more on the team."

Guldhammer felt more comfortable at home. "I did not want to go out for races - I rather wanted be with my mates. And then I'd rather go to the Danish races, for it was there I had my friends," he says.

HTC Columbia tried to help him and Guldhammer had many talks with the team and especially compatriot Brian Holm. Holm had some success in getting Guldhammer motivated again, especially as the Tour of Denmark came closer. Guldhammer did extremely well, finishing sixth overall and winning the young rider's jersey.

Soon afterwards, he lost his desire again. "I still did not feel comfortable in the professional environment and I just wanted to cancel my contract. Cycling had been a huge part of my life and I missed the joy," he says.

HTC Columbia agreed to terminate the contract. Holm is sorry about Guldhammer's leaving, but thinks it is not the end of the career for the young Dane. "I do not think he was ready for the professional life yet. If he can ride at a slightly lower level next year, I am confident that he can return to professional cycling. There is no doubt that he has talent," says Holm.

HTC's director is not the only one with that opionion. Tejay van Garderen, who also rides for HTC Columbia, remembers the amateur days and having to race against Guldhammer. "We've all got used to seeing Rasmus's back wheel on the climbs!"



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