Patrik Sinkewitz will be leading the T-Mobile Team at the 3-Länder-Tour, starting today (Wednesday) in Efurt, Germany. Formerly known as the Hessen-Rundfahrt, the race has expanded its territory to also take in the states of Thüringen and Baden-Württemburg on its 695 kilometre spin over rolling terrain in central Germany.
Joining 25-year-old Sinkewitz in his home region are two of T-Mobile's Tour riders, Andreas Klöden and Matthias Kessler. After a prolonged break through illness, Bram Schmitz starts his first stage race since returning to fitness. The lanky Dutchman already made his race comeback on Sunday at the Nuremberg classic.
For bunch finishes, sporting director Mario Kummer has André Greipel and new British signing Mark Cavendish. At the Tour of Britain, 21 year-old Isle of Man rider was in great form, sprinting to three podium finishes and securing the points jersey against a strong field.
The race opens with its longest stage today of 190 kilometres through the Thüringer Wald hills. However, with the final 50 kilometres raced over flat roads, a bunch sprint is expected in Kassel. A day later, the peloton tackle the race's queen stage, which takes riders over five categorised climbs from Kassel to Battenberg/Allendorf.
However, the general classification is likely to be resolved after Friday's 25 km time trial in and around Griesheim, before the riders tackle the final two relatively flat stages into Wiesbaden and Frankfurt over the weekend.
18 teams in total will be in action at the five-day tour, including the T-Mobile Team, Gerolsteiner, Milram and CSC outfit.
T-Mobile roster: Patrik Sinkewitz, Matthias Kessler, Andreas Klöden, André Greipel, Mark Cavendish, Bram Schmitz. Sporting director: Mario Kummer (44)
September 13 - Stage 1: Erfurt - Kassel, 190 km
September 14 - Stage 2: Kassel - Battenberg/Allendorf, 170 km
September 15 - Stage 3: ITT in Griesheim, 25 km
September 16 - Stage 4: Griesheim - Wiesbaden, 160 km
September 17 - Stage 5: Mannheim - Frankfurt, 150 km
Total: 695 km