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“After the German Championships, it was clear that they wanted a new director at MTN and that we had to go separate ways. That’s probably also the reason that they did not select me for the Vuelta."

Photo: Unipublic/Graham Watson






28.11.2014 @ 07:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After a year away from professional cycling, Linus Gerdeman made his comeback in 2014 at the South African MTN-Qhubeka. Due to health issues, the 32-year-old had a season with very few ups and lots of downs.


Nonetheless, Gerdemann is satisfied with his return to cycling. “I got into form pretty quickly, started the season well in Gabon and could already finish fifth overall there,” he told, looking back at the Tropicale Amissa Bongo (2.1) in the middle of January.


Then he had his first setback. The stage race specialist had caught an intestinal inflammation in Gabon. For some time, he was unaware of the issue and then had to be treated with antibiotics. The consequences were a one-month break and a change of his race schedule. “To be in good form for the important races in May and June, we decided to make a fast but risky build-up of my condition,” Gerdemann explained.


The plan seemed to be working well. After a few outings in one-day races in April and a 23rd place in the Tour of Turkey (2.HC), Gerdemann won the queen stage and the mountains jersey in the Tour of Azerbaijan (2.1) in the beginning of May. “Unfortunately, I had lost time in a stage due to a mechanical. Otherwise, the overall victory would maybe have been possible,” said the winner of a stage of the 2007 Tour de France who travelled to the three most important races in the first part of his season with lots of confidence after his first win in three years.


The German could not be satisfied with his performance in the Bayern Rundfahrt but things went better at the Tour de Luxembourg. However, the overall winner of the 2011 race again had bad luck in the small country. “My condition was okay but in the uphill finish I was involved in a crash 200m from the finish and in that way I lost valuable time,” Gerdemann said. And in his third highlight, the Tour de Suisse, the MTN-Qhubeka captain had to abandon with bronchitis and so missed the German Championships.


Then Gerdemann started to focus firmly on the Vuelta a Espana but surprisingly he was not selected by the team management for the 9-rider roster. “After the German Championships, it was clear that they wanted a new director at MTN and that we had to go separate ways. That’s probably also the reason that they did not select me for the Vuelta,” said Gerdemann who didn’t have any remarkable results in the second half of the season apart from an 8th place in a stage of the Vuelta a Burgos.


In the autumn, it was announced that he would leave the team earlier than planned. Even though he underlines that he always felt good at MTN-Qhubeka, Gerdemann is looking forward to his new challenges at the Danish pro continental Cult Energy team. “After the team approached me, I have studied it intensively and only heard good things. The project caught my interest,” said the German who will try to pass his experience to the younger riders.


“First and foremost, I have to achieve results in the shorter stage races,” said Gerdemann who is currently training for the upcoming season in Mallorca.



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