By Bjorn Haake in Vogtsburg
Grischa Niermann won the time trial at the Regio Tour, being the only rider who completed the 14.2-kilometre course in less than 18 minutes. His time of 17'59 gave him a two-second advantage of the surprise runner-up, U23 German time trial champion Andreas Henig (Atlas - Romer's Hausbäckerei). It has been seven years since he won a UCI race, the now defunct Niedersachsenrundfahrt in 2001.
It had been even longer since the 32 year-old took a time trial. "I used to be really good at time trials, but that changed after my mid-twenties. I don't know why." Niermann won the 31.5-kilometre test against the clock in the (now also defunct) Hessenrundfahrt ten years ago.
Niermann won the (possibly soon to be defunct, at least for professionals) Regio Tour in 1999. He had a bit of a regret after the time trial that he lost a minute in the first stage, preventing him from a repeat overall win. But he put all his confidence in his team-mates Paul Martens and Pieter Weening. "I hope that Pieter and Paul will do a good time trial. As long as they are not faster than I," he added with a laugh, a few minutes before Martens and Weening started their run against the clock.