After spending five years of his professional life with T-Mobile and Columbia –HTC, Marcus Burghardt is ready to ride and win for BMC Racing Team in 2010.
“I was on Columbia for a very long time,” stated Burghardt. “There just comes a time when you need to change. Most of the time I was riding for other riders and was not able to ride for my own results. I am still young, I am 26, and I think I am ready to ride for myself. I understand that teams need riders to ride tempo. I did this in 2008, but I want to ride to win now.”
Burghardt’s focus will remain on the Spring Classics and if BMC gets an invite, the Tour de France. “I think I’ll play a big role in the Classics and then later on hopefully the Tour de France. I like Paris Roubaix. It’s a famous race and I love the history of the race. I have ridden it four times.”
The key to winning Paris Roubaix according to Burghardt is total preparation. “You must know the roads and know how to prepare for the race. You really need to think about how to ride this race. It’s also important to keep notes once you are done. I write notes after I finish. I write about what happened and what I can do to improve next year.”
“With Paris Roubaix and the other Spring Classics there is so much that can happen,” continued Burghardt. “You can flat out 5k before the finish or 10k before the finish. The strongest rider always wins the race. With Columbia we had only one leader, but now with this team we have three. We have a better chance as a group to win this race.” BMC Racing Team will have Burghardt, Alessandro Ballan, and George Hincapie ride the Spring Classics. Definitely a formidable challenge to Quick Step.
Burghardt’s first career highlight was winning Gent-Wevelgem in 2007. This semi-classic, used to take place in the week after the Ronde van Vlaanderen, but will be raced on the Sunday before the Tour of Flanders, and feature a route of 250 kilometres instead of a little over 200. The famous Kemmelberg will remain on the parcours, to be climbed twice in the last part of the event which often ended in a bunch sprint in the past.
This plays into the strengths of Burghardt. “This race used to be for sprinters but the race is longer and harder this year and it will be more suited for me.”
Though he is proud of his Gent-Wevelgem win, he is even happier with his Tour de France stage win in 2008. “Definitely the Tour stage win was my most important win,” commented Burghardt. “I am hoping that we will be able to ride the Tour this year. After the Classics, the Tour is a goal of mine.”
Burghardt believes that the chance of Evans winning the Tour with this team are good. “I think Cadel can win the Tour. He may not have as much support in the mountains but if you look at the climbers like Contador and Armstrong….if you are really, really strong in the mountains…you can drop everyone. Cadel can climb and can TT. At this year’s Tour there is advantage to have us ride. We can support in the cobbles and tough finishes”.