Jan Ullrich leads his German T-Mobile team on Sunday, September 11 at the 15th edition of the "Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt" criterium inside the old town centre. The former Tour de France winner will count on the support of Sergey Yakovlev, Torsten Hiekmann, Christian Werner, Olaf Pollack and stagiare Robert Bengsch.
Both Jan Ullrich (1998) and Olaf Pollack (2001) are former winners of the Bavarian race. And last year, another T-Mobile rider, André Korff, placed third here. "This year again, we will be riding flat out to get a result here," DS Mario Kummer said.
Kummer is not counting on Pollack to grab a podium place, however. Following a surgical operation in July and a subsequent lay-off, the sprinter attempted a race comeback only last week at the Hessen-Rundfahrt, but things didn't go quite as well as hoped - Pollack abandoned during the second stage. Sunday's race is another chance for the 31 year-old to save his season.
"Olaf needs to get race miles into his legs, but shouldn't overdo it," emphasised Kummer, and Pollack agreed. "You shouldn't expect too much from me just now. I need time, as it's not so long since the operation," he said.
The demanding 156 km race (UCI Cat. 1.1) will take the peloton over rolling parcours in and around Nürnberg. Last year over 100,000 roadside spectators turned the event into something of a folk festival. In total, 18 teams have registered for the race, including four ProTour teams: T-Mobile, Gerolsteiner, Domina Vacanze and CSC. Race favourite Jan Ullrich will have high profile company with Tour de France runner-up Ivan Basso.