The Mock List has had two major German sprinting talents in the last few years, with Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb. The honour goes this year to Rüdiger Selig, born in East German Zwenkau. He is perfectly built for the role at 1,80m tall and 80kg.
As a junior he rode for Team SC DhfK Leipzig, where he and his team concentrated on races in East Germany. In 2006 and 2007 he brought in eight wins for the club, most of them sprints on the road. He also won the two-man team race on the track for the Saxon championship. At the national youth games he shone with a second place in omnium, finishing in the top ten at the German track championship.
In 2008 Rüdiger Selig moved to Thüringen together with his friends Rick Ampler and Richard Kästner. Despite a number of talented youngsters and pros, there was no strong team in his home area which could hold on to him and his colleagues. At the beginning he rode mainly smaller races and so he won two criteriums. At the Mazovia Tour (2.2) in Poland, he won a fifth place in a sprint against the Polish elite, thus taking his first small international success. The Polish race would come to play a large role for Selig in the future. As the season went on he brought in numerous top ten placings, including the U-23 Brandenburg Rundfahrt agains such riders as Degenkolb, Kittel and Kluge. He had no wins in 2009 but had good finishes in the Mazovia Tour and the Tour de Berlin.
He showed a clear-cut improvement in 2010, winning a total of five races, with the most important being a stage win at the Tour de Berlin. This year he again took part in the Mazovia Tour, where he ws able to finish in the top ten in every single stage, including the prologue time trial, giving him an outstanding third place overall. He also brought in good results at the Bundesliga race Cottbus-Görlitz-Cottbus and the Thüringen championships.
This year Selig had his breakthrough. He started the year with the ambitious goal of signing a pro contract for 2012. His first race of the season was the Six Day race in Berlin, and he followed it by training ambitiously for a training camp on Mallorca. He put in up to 45 kilometers daily on cross-country skis and started in smaller cyclo-cross races. His season opener came in Croatia, with no particular result. At various racs in Belgium, France and the Netherlands, he showed increasing form. He rode the U-23 Ronde van Vlaanderen, amongst others, for the first time. Back in Germany, he brought in his first really good results of the year, such as when he finished fifth at the Frankfurter Klassiker (U-23). Hs first major season goal, to win the U-23 national title, slipped through his fingers as he placed a close third. At the following Thüringen Rundfahrt, Selig surprised with a 12th place in GC and showed that he was becoming a sprinter who could come well over short climbs. At the Mazovia Tour, he this time finished every stage in the top six, without a single win, but which was enough to give him the second place overall. All in all, he brought in four wins, including one at the Tour of Berlin and in points at the elite ranks of the German track championships. The highlight of the season for him, however, was most surely the fourth place at the the ProRace in Berlin, where he could measure himself against the pros for the first time.
By August he had duly earned a place as a stagiaire, and became one with Leopard Trek. He could ride with the pros at the Tour of Denmark (2.HC) and the Tour du Poitou Charentes (2.1), and he finished both races. For the rest of the season, an important goal is the U-23 World Championship in Copenhagen. The profile is good for him and so it remains to be seen what he will show in Denmark. His biggest goal of the season however is still the pro contract for the coming season. He might possibly recommend himself at the Worlds for a team or even his current employer. If his development continues as it has gone, then he could become the next successful German sprinter.
Nominated by rieper, written by rieper, translated by Tick