Robert Förster wants to win with UnitedHealthcare
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Monday, January 3, 2011

Robert Förster wants to win with UnitedHealthcare

by Ben Atkins at 4:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
German sprinter wants success with American team after two quiet years with Milram

robert forsterRobert Förster is one of a handful of European riders brought in to lend their experience to the ambitiously expanding UnitedHealthcare team in 2011. The team makes the step up to the Professional Continental, or second division, status this year and so the 32-year-old German’s experience will be highly useful.

Not only will Förster’s experience be good for UnitedHealthcare, but the German sprinter also hopes that the new team will be good for his own results.

“Of course I want to win race again,” Förster told, “I haven’t been spoiled by success over the last two years.”

As a winner of three stages of the Giro d’Italia and one in the Vuelta a España, Forster’s results over the past few seasons have not been anything like he would expect. His biggest result of 2010 was third place in the Scheldeprijs in April, but he came closer to victory in two stages of the Österreich-Rundfahrt in July, where he was second. 2011 will go better personally for him, he hopes, but will also give him the chance to pass on his many years of experience to his younger teammates.

“Team manager Mike Tamayo has already made it clear that he has signed me as sprint captain,” he said, “to get results but also to help my younger teammates.”

Förster has spent every year since 2003 in teams in the sport’s first division, first with Gerolsteiner, then with Milram. Moving to UnitedHealthcare was always going to be a step down for the German, but one of the conditions of his joining was that it was not to be too far a step.

“After the main points were clarified we had already come to an agreement at the end of the Vuelta,” he explained. “The prerequisite was that the team received a ProConti license, but the team manager assured me that it would be okay.”

He has just a one-year contract, but this is so that he and the team can make sure that they are what each other is looking for, he says.

“As we agreed, both sides want to see what we have together first” he said. “Of course it would be nice to be able to return to first class, but that doesn’t seem important now. I have received a good offer and I have a good racing programme.”

Having mostly raced on the US domestic calendar, Förster knows very little about his new teammates; with the team’s attitude though, the 32-year-old is looking forward to the new challenge.

“For me it will all be new. Apart from Charly Wegelius I don’t know any of my new colleagues in person, but I’m really looking forward to the new experience. I feel that I’m appreciated by the people there and the personal side is also important.”

According to Förster will start his 2011 race campaign at the Tour of Langkawi in Malaysia, starting on January 23rd.


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