Brandle relishing chance to race alongside Menchov and Sastre in Team Geox
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Monday, November 8, 2010

Brandle relishing chance to race alongside Menchov and Sastre in Team Geox

by Conal Andrews at 7:30 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Young Austrian hopes to make debut Tour de France

Matthias BrandleStill just 20 years of age, Matthias Brandle is hoping to make his Tour debut next season in the services of likely overall contenders Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre. The Austrian rider competed this year as part of Footon-Servetto Fuji, which next season has new sponsors in the form of Geox and TMC, and realises there is going to be a pronounced leap in level because of the team’s expansion.

“It will be a new way of riding in every race I think. I have never been in the same team with such big riders like Menchov or Sastre, so I think it will be a matter of learning a new part of cycling,” he said, excited by the new challenges this presents. “I'm proud to be part of it and hope to make a good job. We will see how many chances I have to ride for my personal goals, but, at the right moment, in good shape...

“I think a lot of good things can happen. For me it is not important which or how many races I do: the way I race them is the only important thing. I don't know if it will be possible to race the Tour next year, but I'll work hard for my big dream.”

Brandle had a solid season with the team, finishing a fine eighth overall in the Tour de Langkawi and winning the national GP Judendorf-Strassengel. He’s one of the youngest riders in the pro peloton, and for him the highlight was his performance in the Giro d’Italia. He didn’t take any sensational results there but, at his age, successfully completing the race was a major achievement.

“For me, I think it was a good start into the professional world of cycling,” he said of his season. “I learned a lot about racing and had some ups and downs. My personal biggest goal, which I achieved, was coming into the Giro and finishing it as the youngest guy into the peloton.

“A few years ago, I watched all these races on the television, and now I'm part of them. On the other hand, I think I have time to grow up, and also the team believes in me. That's very important in every partnership, I think.”

As the years progress, he’ll expect to move up a level and to fight for results. He’s a strong time trialist and climber, two of the most important elements of being a successful stage racer. That makes him someone who could be very successful in the sport if he makes progress as he ages but, before then, he’s not thinking too much about his own ambitions. He knows that he could be very useful in backing Menchov and Sastre, who between them have won one Tour de France, one Giro d’Italia and two Vueltas a España.

“For me, it is not important to shine right from now. I know that, being 20 years old, I cannot have such a high level and try to win or do well in big races,” he said. “It is more important to learn how the races work in order to make it into the results in the future if you're strong enough. For next year, my plan is to race one level higher, and maybe it is enough to take one or some victories.”


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