In form Gerdemann aiming for good ride in Volta ao Catalunya
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Monday, March 21, 2011

In form Gerdemann aiming for good ride in Volta ao Catalunya

by Conal Andrews at 8:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Volta a Catalunya
 
Leopard Trek team to put its weight behind German rider

Linus GerdemannTwo days after Fabian Cancellara took the runner-up slot in Milan-Sanremo, foiled only by Matt Goss, the Leopard Trek team is lining out in the Volta a Catalunya aiming for a strong overall performance by Linus Gerdemann.

The 28 year old has shown solid form thus far with the squad, reuniting with some of those he competed with six years ago as part of Team CSC, and was in the running for a possible stage win in Paris-Nice until he punctured out of the break on stage eight. He rode in support of Cancellara on Saturday, and proved to be of good help to the Swiss rider.

He’ll now get his chance to aim for a big result, having the support of Brice Feillu, Martin Pedersen, Oliver Zaugg, Stefan Denifl, Will Clarke, Giacomo Nizzolo and Thomas Rohregger in the World Tour event.

“This will be a hard race with several strong GC contenders,” said directeur sportif Lars Michaelson. “We have Alberto Contador, Cadel Evans, Ivan Basso and Michele Scarponi. All have shown that they have great form and they are each determined to ride the Volta a Catalunya to win it.”

However, amongst those names, he also anticipates that Gerdemann will be fighting it out on the climbs. He’s probably not in the form to win, but a high showing is on the cards. “Linus was very strong in both Paris-Nice and Milan-Sanremo,” he continued. “I think he stands a fair chance. A place in the top ten is possible.”

Michaelson anticipates that Wednesday’s stage to the summit finish of Vallnord in Andorra will be crucial to his ambitions. If he can show well there, that should set him up for a strong showing in the general classification. “The hardest stage will be stage three,” explains Michaelsen. “I expect the race to be determined on this day.”

The team will race for Nizzolo on the flatter days, most notably stages two and seven. He’s a strong sprinter and has the chance to chase what would be the team’s third victory of the season. Thus far, Dominic Klemme and Cancellara are the only riders to stand on top of the podium, although it seems like a matter of time before the floodgates open and many more wins are clocked up.

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