Grischa Niermann and Paul Martens: "We are not a two men German faction."

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09.01.2008/ Grischa Niermann will start his 10th season with Rabobank. The German rider is one of Denis Menchov's domestiques at the grand tours. For the upcoming season Rabobank signed another German rider: Paul Martens. Martens came from Skil-Shimano. An interview with German Rabo riders Grischa Niermann and Paul Martens.

© Cyclingheroes
Grischa Niermann will open a bikestore in Hannover (© Cyclingheroes)

Cyclingheroes: Grischa, are you satisfied with the 2007 season?

Grischa Niermann: Of course it was very mixed. I had two fractures last year. First I broke my ankle and later my fibula. Before christmas I was very sick and was out of action for two weeks. Normally I don't have a lot of injuries or sickness so that was'n exactly great but still I rode strong at a lot of races. I hope that I will be more consistent this year. I want to perform well and don't want to drop out because of injuries.

Cyclingheroes: What programm will you race this year? 

Grischa Niermann: My race programm isn't sure yet. Because I was sick, I won't start at the Tour Down Under. My season will probebly start at Mallorca in February. Maybe I will ride the Giro and the Tour as a domestique for Denis Menchov. Its still uncertain at the moment, as a domestique I am not sure that I will be selected for the Tour team. But at least that is the plan.

Cyclingheroes: You will open a bikestore in Hannover [Germany]....

Grischa Niermann: Yes. Together with Thomas Ziegler and Roman Jördens I will open a bikestore at February 1. Thomas and Roman retired from professional cycling and will take care of daily business at our store and hopefully I will be able to make some publicity for our store. The whole thing is fantastic! Its an exiting challenge. [More information:]

Cyclingheroes: Is it nice to have a German teammate with Paul Martens?

Grischa Niermann: Of course. I had Robert Bartko as a  teammate for a couple of years and I think its nice to have a German teammate again with Paul Martens. But I also feel well without a fellow countyman, I speak Dutch fluently. For Paul its the same. He rode with a Dutch team [Skil-Shimano] as well last year and he also speaks Dutch. I think we fit in very well with this team. We are not a two men German faction. We are fully integrated in the team.

© Cyclingheroes
Paul Martens won the 2006 Münsterland Giro (© Cyclingheroes)

Cyclingheroes: Paul, you seemed to be a bit disappointed after you did not get a Pro-Tour contract for the 2007 season.....

Paul Martens: I did flirt a bit with a Pro-Tour offer at the end of 2006. But in the end I have to say that the additional year with Skil-Shimano was exactly the right thing for me. I learned a lot of things in the past year.

Cyclingheroes: Is there a big difference between Skil-Shimano and Rabobank?

Paul Martens: Its too early for me to say what the big difference between Skil and Rabobank could be. Of course at Rabobank everything is much bigger. You don't need to be five years with the team to see that. For everything else I will simply wait and see.

© Cyclingheroes
Paul Martens signed with Rabo (© Cyclingheroes)

Cyclingheroes: Do you already know your race programm?

Paul Martens: My season will start at the Tour of California. After that I will race  Paris-Nice. There, I already want to be in relatively good form. Then the Tour of Basque country and a few classics.

Cyclingheroes: Grischa said you speak Dutch as well...

Paul Martens: I have a Dutch girlfriend for a year and a half now and because of that I learned the language pretty fast. I live in Lanaaken at the Belgian - Dutch border so I speak Dutch every day.






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Grischa Niermann
Birthdate: November 3, 1975
Place of Birth: Hannover, Germany
Residence: Hannover, Germany
Height: 1.78 mtr
Weight: 63 kg.
Turned Pro at: 1996
1996 - 1998 Die Continentale - Olympia
1999 -    ?   Rabobank
Overall Tour of Hessen
Stage 2b Tour of Hessen
Stage 4 Volta Algarve
Overall Regio-Tour
Stage 2 Regio-Tour
Overall Tour of Niedersachsen
Overall Tour of Nidersachsen
Paul Martens
Birthdate: October 26, 1983
Place of birth: Rostock, Germany
Residence: Lanaaken, Belgium
Height: 1.76 mtr
Weight: 65 kg.
Turned Pro at: 2006
2006 - 2007 Skil-Shimano
2008 -   ?    Rabobank
Stage 2 Tour de Luxembourg
Münsterland Giro
Stage 2 Ster Elektrotoer
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