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"Maybe I will already retire at the end of 2015, maybe at the end of 2018. But I will definitely not be riding at 40 years of age."

Photo: Sirotti




01.12.2014 @ 11:40 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

In his 13th season as a professional, Bernhard Eisel (Sky) impressed in his role as an important domestique in the spring classics and in two grand tours. And with a third place in a stage of the Tour of Qatar, a third place at his national road race championships and a sixth place in the final stage of the Tour de France on the Champs-Elysees, the Austrian also achieved some personal results along the way.



"I'm satisfied with my season. I did what was expected of me. That I wouldn't get many chances to ride for myself was clear to me from the beginning," Eisel told


Eisel was especially strong in the sprint. At Paris-Roubaix, the 33-year-old did not only support Geraint Thomas - who finished seventh - and Bradley Wiggins - the 2012 Tour de France winner was ninth. In the velodrome in Roubaix, the classics specialist took a fine 13th place himself.



As opposed to this, the Tour de France was a big disappointment for Team Sky. The lack of results was not due to Eisel's performance. It was caused by Chris Froome's early withdrawal as the defending champion left the race on stage 5 after multiple crashes.



"From the team's point of view, theTour de France was obviously disappointing. However, I had good shape right from the start," said Eisel who got some personal freedom after the abandonment of his captain and who went on the attack in the Pyrenees to finish 15th in the 16th stage to Bagneres-de-Luchon."This will certainly not happen often again," Eisel joked abot the difficult mountain stage.


The veteran had travelled to the Tour with the Giro d'Italia already in his legs. His partificpation in Italy was not planned. "Actually I was not scheduled to the Giro and I was only selected at a very short notice. Therefore it was a relaxed race for me. The building of form for the Tour was clearly in focus," said Eisel who had no less than 94 racing days from January (Tour Down Under) to October (Japan Cup).



"It was planned that I would ride so long. If I had finished after the Worlds, I would have had to resume training on November 1. So I did the Tour of Beijing and the Japan Cup, meaning that I could start my training three weeks later," said Eisel who explained his many days of racing. "I am at an age where you are more of a rider for races than for training."



Eisel refused the suggestion that his late training start would make it impossible for him to be in shape for the classics. "In November and December, you are only building on your basis and I have lots of that."



For the upcoming season, Eisel has again selected three highlights in his calendar: the spring classics, the Tour and the Road World Championships in Richmond in the US. "Especially in the classics, I would like to be in the mix for another two or three years," said the Austrian who didn't rule out the prospect of an early retirement. "Maybe I will already retire at the end of 2015, maybe at the end of 2018. But I will definitely not be riding at 40 years of age," he announced.



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