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"If the team is satisfied, I will be too. This year I have to feel that I have adapted and have taken a step in the harder races. Maybe I will manage to be in front in a small race.”

Photo: Sirotti




08.12.2016 @ 14:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The first training camp with the new team is over, and for Marco Mathis, the days on the Spanish coast around Calpe and Benidorm were exciting. "It is very, very exciting. Everything is much bigger - a lot more staff and the buses are bigger,” the U23 time trial world champion told at the team presentation.


The neo-pro who joins the the WorldTour from rad-net-Rose, feels comfortable with Katusha-Alpecin where he will meet two well-known faces. Nils Politt and Rick Zabel, who has also joined the team from BMC, have known Mathis for a long time from their junior years. And in Spain, the trio spent the majority of the free time together with Austrian Marco Haller, Norwegians Alexander Kristoff and Sven Erik Byström and Colombian Jhonatan Restrepo playing football on Playstation.


"We have a small group that meets after training to play FIFA," Mathis said. "I have no chance in the tournament. Rick and Marco Haller are playing much better. Marco beats everyone." Haller aka Arsenal only had one goal against him the first five matches." An own goal," laughed the Austrian before describing the upcoming match between Zabel and Politt as "misery against misery.”


However, Mathis likes his his new team beyond those games. He has big expectations for his new time trial bike from Canyon and the presence of the four-time world champion is likely to help the U23 champion. "Tony is a very nice and I'm really looking forward to riding with him. I'm trying to look at him as much as I can, but we will probably not have quite the same racing program," Mathis said.


Mathis’ goal is to do one or more of the Belgian spring races but it won’t be easy in a team that is going for victory with Kristoss. The racing program was not yet determined at the time of the conversation with He only knew what he won’t do. “I think it's too early to do a Grand Tour," he said. "Clearly, Düsseldorf (the Tour de France start, ed.) would be a dream, but that's too early. I have to get to know the pro racing and maybe do a shorter stage race.”


And what would make the 2017 season positive? "If the team is satisfied, I will be too," he said. “This year I have to feel that I have adapted and have taken a step in the harder races. Maybe I will manage to be in front in a small race.”



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