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Andreas Klier, the veteran German classics specialist, is hoping to earn a ticket to the world championships in one more shot at helping his national team.
Klier, 35, also confirmed to VeloNews that he will ride two more seasons with Garmin-Cervélo through the 2013 season.
“I want to do the worlds and I would like to do them for the last time in my life with Germany,” Klier said. “Yes, for sure, this will be my last worlds. For the next years at Valkenburg and Italy, there are much better German cyclists than me for this type of courses, and I would never try to take a spot for a rider who is better on these courses. I am better for Copenhagen and I am fighting for it.”
Klier has been named to Germany’s 12-man long-team for the worlds.
Germany will start with the maximum of nine riders and will be one of the most competitive in the field, both in terms of making the final selection as well as in having a shot at the final podium.
“We will have a strong German team. I am happy if they select me. Tony Martin, Greipel, Burghardt, Degenkolb, Kittel, we can do a nice race,” he said. “No, I am not retiring. I do not want to do the worlds again. I will stay two more years with Garmin.”
Klier said he’s still motivated to race and will be part of Garmin-Cervélo’s classics team for the next two seasons after signing a contract extension with the team.
He also admits he’s no longer among the big favorites for the spring classics, but said he’s happy with the role as road captain during the one-day battles across France and Belgium.
“I am too old to try to win Flanders now. If it happened, it would be very nice. That’s not the goal. It’s more like a dream now,” Klier said. “I am not training in the winter saying that I will win. I did this a few years ago, in 2004 and 2005, I was really good on my bike, but it didn’t happen. I kept dreaming for two more years, now I have to be realistic and say that I am too old and not strong enough to beat 10 other people who are much stronger.”
Klier is considered one of the most knowledgable riders for the northern classics. Younger, budding classics riders, such as Tyler Farrar and Heinrich Haussler, are always keen to listen to whatever advice that he can offer.
Klier won Ghent-Wevelgem in 2003 and was second at the Tour of Flanders in 2005, but admits now he is a committed team player to help Garmin’s classics leaders.
“It would be nonsense to say I will win Flanders,” he continued. “Of course, I will always try and try and try. In these situations, you can create other circumstances and I can be there in the final, I can help the people who are stronger than me.”
Klier was part of Garmin-Cervélo’s spring classics campaign this season, riding to 49th at Paris-Roubaix to help teammate Johan Van Summeren take a controversial win ahead of world champion teammate Thor Hushovd.
“Of course, Johan deserved to win Roubaix,” Klier said. “It’s tactic, it’s luck. We always had good communication and good tactic in all the races, but it didn’t work out. We never gave up. We kept pushing. We just stuck to the plan and that day it worked out better. It could have happened one or two weeks before. It was a question of time that it would happen, that we got what we deserved.”
Klier suffered through the Vuelta a España to get into shape for the world championships.
A winner of a Vuelta stage in 2007, Klier admitted he was rarely near the front of the action during this year’s challenging Vuelta course.
“I have done the Vuelta nine or 10 times, this was the hardest Vuelta I have done,” he said. “I was not much help to my teammate Dan Martin. The best thing I could do for him was pack his suitcase in the morning or carry his suitcase to the lobby.”