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"Above all, I want to ride the classics to gain experience there. The ultimate would of course be the Tour de France. To start there would be incredible. But this is still in the distant future."

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RUBEN ZEPUNTKE

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05.12.2014 @ 13:45 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

When last winter Ruben Zepuntke made the decision to join the US continental team Bissell, he was met with lots of surprises. However, the decision proved to be the right one as the German did so well in the races on the other side of the Atlantic that he earned himself a contract with the WorldTour Garmin-Cannondale team.

 

 

"It was probably my best season ever. I am very happy with how the races in America went. In particular, I've learned a lot about myself. I think that was very important for the coming years," Zepuntke told radsport-news.com.

 

But at first, things didn't go as planned for the 20-year-old who had "a heavy spring" due to crashes and mechanicals. For example, he crashed hard in the Tour of California but fought his way to the finish and in the final stages he narrowly missed the top 10 twice. After the German Championships, the all-rounder travelled back to the US where the Tour of Utah, the USA Pro Challenge and the Tour of Alberta were on his schedule.

 

In those three races, Zepuntke gradually improved his shape. In the Tour of Utah, he finished 30th overall, in the ProChallenge in Colorado he finished 18th and second in the youth rankings. Finally Zepunkte made his big coup in Canada where he won a stage of the Tour of Alberta and finished third in the overall standings.

 

"It could not have gone any better. I am very happy that I could prove my good form with these results," said Zepunkte who went to the Worlds in Ponferrada with motivation and ambitions.

 

But in the U23 road race he could not fulfill the expectations, finishing 102nd. "My form had given me a lot of confidence. But that prompted me to attack way too early and in that way I denied myself a top result," he said but also drew some positives from the disappointment: "This experience will help me much in the future."

 

That may happen already in 2015 where he will ride his first season in the WorldTour after he signed a contract with Cannondale-Garmin. "Due to my results in Canada, many teams were aware of me but Garmin was the first team to contact me. Above all. they offered me a very good racing program," Zepunkte said, explaining why he quickly decided to join Jonathan Vaughters' team.

 

He will do his first race in 2015 at the Mallorca Challenge in Februaryon his 22nd birthday. "Above all, I want to ride the classics to gain experience there. The ultimate would of course be the Tour de France. To start there would be incredible. But this is still in the distant future," said Zepuntke who wants to develop into a good allrounder at Cannondale-Garmin.

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