Germans hope for rain

The German team for the Olympic Games' road race is feeling the side-effects of the Beijing weather...

The German team for the Olympic Games' road race is feeling the side-effects of the Beijing weather and smog conditions. "Everyone has sort of a pressure on the lungs," Stefan Schumacher told the sid news agency after his training rides. "We rode four and a half hours on Wednesday, but it felt like seven or eight hours."

What looks to be the most difficult Olympic road race ever will be, according to the Gerolsteiner rider, "an extreme race, a race of attrition." Still, the German is "highly motivated. I have trained well."

Nevertheless, Schumacher is not a friend of the high temperatures currently felt in the Chinese capital. But according to the weather forecast, the road race beginning at 11am local time (5am CET) may be carried out under rainy skies.

"I expect the riders that were at the front in Liège-Bastogne-Liège first in the finish here, too," said Germany's team director Hans-Michael Holczer. But the climatic conditions are not the same as in Belgium. "These are the Olympic Games with the highest air humidity," said the German team doctor Prof. Wilfried Kindermann. "Together with the heat, that is similar to the conditions in Athens, Atlanta or Los Angeles, it will be the toughest that you can expect of the athletes."

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