By Susan Westemeyer
The German national time trial championships are facing two major challenges: the final stage of the Tour de Suisse and the Eindhoven Team Time Trial. These two races are responsible for keeping many of the big names in German men's cycling away from the national championships.
Such riders as Andreas Klöden (Astana) and Jens Voigt (CSC) will be in Switzerland. Defending champion Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner) won't be racing anywhere, since he is still recovering from a broken bone in his heel. The favourite now will be Robert Bartko, who won two gold medals in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
For the women, defending champion Charlotte Becker (Equipe Nürnberger) will look to defend her title against T-Mobile's Judith Arndt and Hanka Kupfernagel (Focus-Worldsportsstar).
This year's races will be held in Rostock, Germany. Start and finish will be in the Ostseebad Warnemünde section of the city, and then onto a circuit on a highway. "It is a very attractive course. It is relatively flat, without big curves and with little wind," said race organizer Roman Klawun. The pro men will ride 40 km, while the women and U-23 men will face 30 km.