Type of rider: Climber, Hilly classics
Biggest Success: Tour du Gévaudan 2009
Team/Club 2010: Atlas Personal
Team 2011 : not yet announced
Best Mock List Ranking: 34th (2009)
The first Espoir who is being given the honour of an extended article this year is already well-known from the 2009 edition of the Mock List. The 34th of last year, in line with his continuous development on the bike, also improves in our ranking to the 30th position. Perhaps the answer to the non-stated question who could fill the German vacuum in high mountain stages in pro cycling. Yes, 1.72m small and 62kg light David Rösch is currently the most promising German climber and his current season caused us once again to have a closer look at his achievements and future perspectives.
After Rösch made his national breakthrough in 2008 by getting national climbing champion, he accomplished the same on an international top level in 2009 by placing fifth in the extremely tough Giro delle Valle d’Aosta (2.2). Despite being in good shape and receiving the Mock List recommendation mentioned above, he was not selected for the U23 world championships in Mendrisio. Certainly an error for the national team, but afterwards a real blessing for him personally. Because of that he participated with his Swiss team Atlas Romers in the Tour du Gévaudan (2.2). The stage race in southern France took place at the same time as the championships and attracted several professional teams. But thanks to a strong and above all very attentive performance on both stages, whereof the second one lead up to the Montée de Jalabert, Rösch was able to secure the biggest win of his career to date by winning the general classification (ahead of the likes of Julien Simon and Francisco Ventoso). Already during this race it was announced that he would continue riding for the Swiss continental team for another year.
This years season commenced rather bad. Sicknesses and minor injures set back his built-up. Hence he was not able to properly compete in races before mid of April. Nevertheless at the end of April the Giro delle Regioni (2.NC), the first important U23 stage race (if you can call a race with two stages so) of the calender, was on the agenda. With, according to himself, “legs, which did not respond at all” he managed to finish on a very respectable 10th rank. The shape was getting better and better. The following month he started again as captain of the national team in the Ronde de l’Isard (2.2U), a race which exactly suited the taste of pure climbers with a big mountain top finish on the Plateau de Bonascre. In this kings stage Rösch placed sixth, and if you count the early-attackers Eijssen and Capdepuy out, he was actually the fourth best climber of the day. In the general classification he got seventh, with a bitter-sweet taste because only five seconds were missing for a podium spot. Given that he is definitely not built for cobblestone races, it was a little bit strange to see him on the starting list for Paris-Roubaix (1.2U) as well. But the fact that he finished it as 41th, only five minutes down on winner Taylor Phinney, is definitely worth a mention.
The Thüringen-Rundfahrt (2.2U) is traditionally not mountainous enough for climbers and this year it was even harder due to the fact that there was a long team time trial, where Team Atlas Personal directly lost two minutes. The classification was ruined early, but Rösch managed to put his mark on the most prestigious german Espoirs race by winning the kings stage up to the Masserberg with a solo effort in the last 30km. Followed by a race break and some smaller races in France, the highlight of the season was about to approach, the Tour de l’Avenir (2.NC) in the beginning of September. With two mountain top finishes and one mountain time trial there was no doubt that no one other than Rösch could carry the German hopes for the classification. Good performances (even though not among the very best) and a third place out of a breakaway, where he did not have a real chance for victory against the two frenchmen Hardy and Bardet, secured him the 11th place in the final ranking at this talent-studded race.
Regardless if David Rösch will be able to defend his title at the Tour du Gévaudan (2.2), you can come to a good conclusion of his last season in the U23 ranks. After showing himself for the first time among the word class in the autumn of 2009, he finally and continuously proved that in 2010. Being among the best in the four biggest U23 stage races (Regioni, Isard, Thüringen, Avenir) displays class. To date, no pro team was announced to have him under contract for 2011. So, dear pro team managers: Buy now!
Nominated by chreezer, written by chreezer, translated by chreezer