Grabsch Wins Dauphine Libere Time Trial
Team Columbia-Highroad’s Bert Grabsch (Germany) stormed to an impressive victory in the long time trial stage of the 2009 Dauphine Libere earlier today. The reigning World Time Trial Champion, Grabsch finished seven seconds ahead of Australian Cadel Evans (Team Silence-Lotto) and 39 seconds ahead of Great Britain’s David Millar (Team Garmin-Slipstream) on the rolling 42 kilometer course.
“I haven’t won a race since my World Championships victory last year, and after four or five top ten places in time trials this year I’ve finally won one, so this is very important for me,” Grabsch said afterwards. “The last two time trials I did before this were just 12 kilometres and 25 kilometres long, so the distance in this one this one suited me a lot better. On top of that, this was a perfect course for me today, there weren’t too many climbs and there were a lot of opportunities to use a big gear. So I had to take my chance.”
The German time trial specialist admitted it had been a close fight against Evans, but in the final part of the course he had managed to pull ahead.
“I was faster than Cadel in the first part, then he got back some time on me, and then in the last part I was able to move in front again. In the last 10 kilometres I was suffering badly, but I still won, which is what’s important.”
Grabsch was asked if he hoped to ride the Tour de France and try and win the time trials there, but he said that in a team like Team Columbia-Highroad, competition for July was always healthily fierce.
“There are 13 or 14 riders on the shortlist for the Tour and we won’t know for sure until after the Tour of Switzerland who will be going. Obviously if I go, I’d want to do my best in the time trials, and I think the second, which is much longer and flatter is better for me. I’d definitely try as hard as possible in both, though. We’ll see.”
“In any case, retaking the World Time Trial Champion’s jersey in Mendrisio in September is also really important for me, so whatever happens I have plenty of targets in the next few months.”