Andreas Klöden life and biography

Andreas Klöden picture, image, poster

Andreas Klöden biography

Date of birth : 1975-06-22
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Mittweida, Germany
Nationality : German
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2010-07-20
Credited as : Cyclist, participating on Tour de France, signed with T-Mobile Team

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Andreas Klöden was born in Mittweida in 1975. Before he turned professional, he won the bronze medal in the Under 23 World Time Trial Championships in 1996, and two stages at the International Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt in 1997.

The T-Mobile years

Klöden signed with Team Deutsche Telekom (later T-Mobile Team) in 1998, and in his first pro season he won the Niedersachsen Rundfahrt's General Classifications (GC) and the prologue of the Tour de Normandie. In 1999, he won a stage at the Portuguese Tour of Algarve. But the first of his great seasons came in 2000, where after notching two important victories in the GC of Paris-Nice and Vuelta al País Vasco, he went on to obtain the bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, after fellow German Jan Ullrich and Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov, two riders with whom he would spend several seasons on T-Mobile.

After that came three injury plagued seasons in which he gained no victories. He was forced to abandon the 2003 Tour de France due to a fractured tailbone. 2004 saw his cycling rebirth as he won the German National Road Racing Championships and so continued T-Mobile/Team Telekom's winning streak, which went back to Bernd Gröne's 1993 win of these Championships. Klöden held his great moment of form until the Tour de France, which began one week later. In that Tour, which he began as a domestique for Ullrich, he did not win any stage but finished second overall after taking second place from Italian Ivan Basso in the final time trial. Ullrich, whom Klöden was supposed to be supporting, finished fourth that year, the only time he finished outside the top three in the Tour de France. Finishing ahead of Ullrich brought Klöden international fame and rumours circulated that he was moving to Gerolsteiner or Illes Balears, where he would have led the team, but instead he stayed at T-Mobile with Ullrich.
Tour 2004: Andreas Klöden after stage 2 to Namur

In the 2005 season he won a stage at the Bayern Rundfahrt. Klöden as well as teammates Ullrich and Vinokourov were considered among the challengers for the 2005 Tour de France overall victory, with Ullrich as the strongest bid. Klöden contributed to the team success of T-Mobile in the race that saw Ullrich finish 3rd and Vinokourov finish fifth. On stage 8 in the Vosges Mountains, he attacked half way up the final climb of the day and eventually took the K.O.M. points, catching breakaway leader Pieter Weening right at the summit. On the way down to the finish in Geradmer, he lost the sprint finish in the closest Tour de France finish of all time - (9.6 millimetres or 0.0002 secs). Later, he withdrew from the Tour at stage 17 into Revel, having crashed during the 16th stage and fracturing a bone in his right wrist.

In the Tour of 2006, Klöden became one of the favorites for the overall victory when Ullrich, Vinokourov and Basso did not start. Vinokourov did not participate because of his teammates doping scandal, which caused his Astana team to fall below the minimum six riders to start. After somewhat weak performances in the first mountain stages, Klöden was in good shape in the Alps, climbing in the overall ranking. Klöden was very strong in the closing time trial where he finished second after his teammate Serhiy Honchar, climbing from fourth to the third place in the general classification over Carlos Sastre. On stage 11 to the Pla D'Beret, Kloden was dropped by the leading group and lost about 1:30mins, which cost him dearly. On Stage 15, he performed strongly, dropping everyone, except eventual overall winner Floyd Landis. On Stage 16, Kloden again performed well, finishing fourth on the stage, however on stage 17, he again cracked on the Col du Joux Plane, but recovered on the descent, thanks mainly to the help given to him by team-mate Patrik Sinkewitz.

The Astana years (2007-2009)

On August 27, 2006, Klöden announced that he would ride for Astana in the 2007 season, although Vinokourov was the team captain. This announcement came as something of a surprise to the cycling community because Klöden, despite his talent and accomplishments, would almost certainly not be the leader of that team, which was organized around Alexandre Vinokourov. During the Tour de France, he rode well, but had to help Astana captain Vinokourov, and lost a few minutes. An accident almost saw the repeat of his 2003 Tour injury, but this time the injury to the coccyx was just a hairline fracture and he was able to continue. Astana formally withdrew from the 2007 Tour de France on July 24th, when Vinokourov's doping test was found to be positive.

His racing in September was interrupted by injury, following an accident while out training when a car crossed his path forcing him to swerve, Klöden ended up in a ditch. Although an X-ray showed no broken bones, he missed the GP de Plouay and the Tour of Poland.

On October 2, 2009 it was confirmed that Klöden would join Team RadioShack for the 2010 season

2009 Doping allegations

In 2009 allegations emerged claiming that Andreas Klöden used the Freiburg University Clinic for an illegal blood transfusion during the 2006 Tour de France.


Major achievements

1998

Overall and Stage 3A, Niedersachsen Rundfahrt
Prologue, Tour de Normandie

1999
Stage 3, Volta ao Algarve

2000
Overall and Stage 5B, Vuelta al País Vasco
Overall and Stage 7, Paris-Nice
Stage 7, Peace Race
Bronze Medal, Olympics Road Race
12th, Olympics Time Trial

2004
20px National Road Race Championship
2nd overall – Tour de France

2005
Stage 5, Bayern Rundfahrt

2006
Regio Tour
2nd overall – Tour de France (promoted due to exclusion of Floyd Landis)

2007
1st Overall, Tirreno-Adriatico
Circuit Cycliste Sarthe et Pays de la Loire stage 2
Circuit Cycliste Sarthe overall
2nd, Prologue – Tour de France
2nd, Stage 13 – Tour de France
6th, Stage 14 – Tour de France

2008
1st overall, Tour de Romandie

Stage 3
2nd Tour de Suisse

2009

* 6th Overall, Tour de France
o 1st Stage 4
* 1st, Stage 5, Tirreno-Adriatico
o 3rd Overall
* 2nd, Overall, Tour de Luxembourg

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