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Team Thüringer Energie has defended its Bundesliga track title in Büttgen, Germany. Even a crash by...
Team Thüringer Energie has defended its Bundesliga track title in Büttgen, Germany. Even a crash by Marcel Barth could not stop the team. They held a slim lead of five and seven points over LKT Brandenburg and Rose Akud, respectively, going into the final Bundesliga race last weekend. The Bundesliga has been held for nine years, with Thüringer Energie winning eight of the final classification.
The team, consisting of Marcel Barth, Nico Graf, Lucas Schädlich and Philipp Klein, won four of the eight races over the weekend. Already on Saturday they won three races and relieved themselves from some of the pressure, having only a small margin of error. Klein was the fastest in the one-lap event, Graf was ahead of everyone else in the Scratch race and Barth and Klein won the most points in the Madison. And that despite Barth crashing heavily and losing a lot of skin.
Graf said that "with those successes we already won psychologically against the competitors." On day two Schädlich won the points race and secured the overall victory.
Overall the season had been very successful for Thüringer Energie, which started with an unexpected win by Tony Martin in the Italian Coppa Citta' di Asti in May. Then Tony Martin, Florian Frohn und Oliver Giesecke occupied all podium spots at the German hill championships. It was the first time in the history of the Bundesliga that a team had won maximum points in the teams classification.
The next highlight was Marcel Kittel's wearing of the young rider jersey in the Flèche du Sud, in Luxembourg. Martin went on to win FBD Insurance Ras in Ireland. He missed repeating a win in the Thüringen Rundfahrt by a slim two seconds.
Kittel, in his first year in the senior ranks, won the national U23 time trial title, while Patrick Gretsch won the bronze medal in the individual pursuit in the German track championships.
After a successful season Martin finished third in the season-long race series for the "Internationale Deutsche Meisterschaft." Kittel and Martin also participated in the World Championships in Stuttgart.
Directeur Sportif Jens Lang was very happy with the results. "Last year we won four medals at the national championships, this year we have seven. Additionally we have more wins and more placings." Team Manager Jörg Werner was really impressed with the ability to even shine internationally. "We were very successful in foreign countries. We won and were very active in one-day races as well as stage races. We can build on that. As a team we want to target the international scene, without leaving the German races behind."
The team will now take a break from racing and training for a few weeks and start the 2008 campaign with the batteries recharged.