Kim Andersen about CSC domestiques: "We prefer they give it a shot and go for it themselves."

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14.01.2008/ Domestiques are important at every team. Although the captains have to ride their own bike, they can't win a single race without the support of good domestiques. But the role of the domestiques has changed in the last 10 years.


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Inigo Cuesta is one of the CSC domestiques (© Cyclingheroes)

In an interview with, CSC sports director Kim Andersen spoke about domestiques. "They still exist, but it's not like the old days, where there were loads of them and where they had only one task throughout the season: Helping the team's big stars," explains Team CSC sports director Kim Andersen using his own team as an example:

"We still have some riders, who are mostly helpers, but really we prefer they give it a shot and go for it themselves once in a while. You could say that on Team CSC we have two riders belonging to that ”old school” category: Volodymir Gustov and Inigo Cuesta."

Cuesta turns 39 this coming season and has some great results from stage races in the past. His latest stage win was in the 2005 edition of the Volta a Catalunya. He's been very dedicated to his role as domestique though – especially for Carlos Sastre, but also other riders on the team. He was seventh in the 2006 Tour of Germany, where he assisted Jens Voigt in the mountains.

30-year-old Gustov only has one pro victory under his belt from the German stage race Regio Tour (2003), but he's been a great asset to his team mates countless times. For example for Sastre in last year's Vuelta and for Dave Zabriskie in Dauphiné Libéré.

"It's hard to get Inigo to go any further. His found his niche and he's sticking to it, but I sometimes wish that he'd take some chances for himself once in a while. Of course there are certain races, where we insist they function as domestiques, but there are also other ones where we'd like for them to try their own chances, but it's so ingrained in them that's it's really hard to change," says Kim Andersen.

"In Dauphiné Libéré and at the beginning of Vuelta a España Gustov was given free reigns to make a go of it for himself. But I think maybe he doesn't have enough confidence and maybe finds it hard to make the exact right break. But there's absolutely no doubt whatsoever about Volodymir's importance to the team in his role as a domestique. Both he and Inigo are highly regarded among their team mates and well liked – and that's important to remember. It's their strength in the mountains, which makes them so important, because their kind don't grow on trees these days," determines the Danish sports director, who would have liked to see Gustov a bit more eager to attack, when he was on top form during Dauphiné Libéré in 2007.

"It would've been exciting to see Volodymir go for a top spot in Dauphiné Libéré, where he was 12th in 2007, even tough he spent a lot of resources helping out Dave Zabriskie in stead. I could see him as a contender for a podium spot if he was to go for it," finishes Kim Andersen. 

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