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Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt: 202km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Hello and welcome to CN's live coverage from Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt.

  1. 12:39:43 BST

    We've seen roughly 80kms of very fast racing so far today with break after break trying to get clear.

    We've finally got some stability in the race with a group up the road. We'll bring you their names in just a minute.

  2. 123km remaining from 202km

    12:40:50 BST

    We currently have 123 kms of racing left. We're over the first major climb of the day with two smaller climbs still to come.

  3. 12:47:25 BST

    So in the break we have Pieter Serry (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator), Hubert Dupont (Ag2r), Tom Jelte Slagter (Rabobank), Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil), Carlos Alberto Betancurt (Aqua & Sapone) und Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and they have a lead of 1.14

  4. 12:49:09 BST

    But the gap is coming down. It's at just 30 seconds now.

  5. 12:54:31 BST

    • HTC-Highroad's 2011 Jersey

    The leaders are starting to split up with Leopard Trek and HTC-Highroad both on the front doing all the work.

  6. 12:57:17 BST

    Rabobank has a man in the break so they dont have to do any work at the moment. That's a perfect situation for them.

    They'll try and stay out of trouble and should it all come back together for a sprint they'll try and put Matthews and Bos in the best possible positions.

  7. 12:58:52 BST

    Meanwhile Ben Swift has won the final stage in Romandie ahead of Freire and Vigano. That's another great result for the young Sky rider.

  8. 13:04:06 BST

    The break don't have a chance, not with Leopard Trek putting everyone on the front.

  9. 13:05:23 BST

    Over to Susan for a few minutes..

  10. 13:05:44 BST

    Susan here, giving the new live report system a try-out.

  11. 13:07:12 BST

    It's a gorgeous day in Germany today, with lots of sunshine and moderate spring temperatures.

  12. 13:08:14 BST

    The break is over.  None other than Jens Voight led the peloton past the group that had led for so long.

  13. 101km remaining from 202km

    13:10:33 BST

    We are halfway through the race now.  There arestill a few more climbs to go.  Will it be enough to dump the sprinters, specifically Mark Cavendish of HTC-Highroad?

  14. 13:14:00 BST

    Lunch time!  The riders pass through the feed zone and grab something to eat and drink.  Guten Appetit!

  15. 13:17:35 BST

    Hoogerland is not ready to give up.  He attacks again.

  16. 13:20:07 BST

    The  field charges up the Mammolshein -- a short but steep climb, which they will face again.

  17. 13:20:54 BST

    Hoogerland had been caught before the climb, by the way.

  18. 13:22:41 BST

    That climb wasn't enough to split the field.  A few riders have a little lead -- let's see if it turns into anything.

  19. 13:24:45 BST

    There is a German national team in the race today, and you have probably heard of at least some of its riders:  Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Danilo Hondo (Lampre), Gerald Ciolek (Quick Step) and Dominik Nerz (Liquigas).
     

  20. 13:26:28 BST

    Here are some unusual spectators:  the giraffes at the Opel Zoo take a look at those fellows on two wheels.

  21. 13:28:34 BST

    Christian Prudhomme of the Tour de France is visiting today's race.  We have heard rumours that Tour organiser ASO wants to take over this race.

  22. 13:33:39 BST

    Daniel, back.

    So all back together and less than 90 kms of racing.

  23. 13:34:07 BST

    And just like the first hour of racing we're seeing lots of moves go off the front but nothing sticking.

  24. 13:41:08 BST

    Vacan are being particularly aggressive but each time they try and make a move Leopard Trek are on their heels and bring everything back together.

  25. 13:41:47 BST

    No sign of Cavendish in the last few minutes but the bunch are on the second major climb of the day.

  26. 13:43:07 BST

    The bunch are all strung out, so the pace is high but there's simply no real opportunity to get away at the moment.

  27. 13:43:31 BST

    Long, wide road, even on the climbs just aren't giving the breaks much chance

  28. 13:46:02 BST

    This is of course a big race for Leopard Trek who have Fabian Wegmann in their ranks. He won the race last year.

  29. 13:48:06 BST

    Lebon is the only rider to force a small split but behind him it's all splitting up with around 40 riders left in the main bunch.

  30. 13:50:44 BST

    Le Bon has a long downhill section on which he can try and stretch out his advantage and he's taking plenty of risks

  31. 13:52:07 BST

    The road rising up again along this rolling terrain and we'll see what Le Bon is made of.

  32. 13:53:15 BST

    he keeps looking back but the gap is going out, it's at 25 seconds but with over 70km of racing I'm sure he'd like a few more riders to come across.

  33. 13:58:50 BST

    A small chase group have jumped from what's left of the main field but they've only got a handful of seconds.

  34. 68km remaining from 202km

    14:02:05 BST

    That small group has been brought back and Le Bon is the only rider out front. He's still working hard to extend his lead but it's not above 30 seconds.

  35. 14:04:52 BST

    A small climb for Le Bon to take on and he's out of the saddle trying everything but it's not going to stick. If the bunch are going full gas or there's a counter attack he'll be brought back. The gap is 15 seconds.

  36. 14:05:26 BST

    Le Bon makes it over the climb just ahead of the bunch, which is grown to maybe 60 or 70 riders.

  37. 14:10:24 BST

    Le Bon takes a look at the board and sees that he's still got a few seconds  - 15 in fact - but he look s done.

    And a group of around 6 riders catch him. Le Bon sits on the back.

  38. 14:11:39 BST

    And Fabian Wegmann has made the split. Nice move from the German.

  39. 14:14:08 BST

    • HTC-Highroad's 2011 Jersey

    It could be all over for Cavendish now. Dropped on that last climb

  40. 14:22:32 BST

    A strong group but they've already split with Hoogerland and Proni attacking and leading the race.

  41. 14:29:08 BST

    Voigt, Elminger and Burghardt also make the lead group. this could stick.

  42. 14:36:51 BST

    Hoogerland drops back to talk to Voigt who is refusing to do any work. Wegmann no longer with this group for some reason.

  43. 14:39:35 BST

    If you're wondering why Burgy is in that what jersey, he's riding for the German nation team today along with hondo and ciolek

  44. 14:40:16 BST

    • Feed

    As the riders hit the last feed of the day

  45. 39km remaining from 202km

    14:43:35 BST

    And the gap is up to 55 seconds.


  46. 14:46:38 BST

    So a group of around 18 riders in the lead with a gap  of just under a minute. They're just about to go over the final climb of the day.

    And there's an attack from one of the riders in the break. It's Hoogerland.

  47. 14:47:02 BST

    Martens is chasing for Rabobank but Hoogerland is a gap, it's growing too.

  48. 14:49:31 BST

    Hoogerland isn't wait for anyone to come across and he's really going for it?  Has he gone from too far out? 

    Wegmann back in the break now is giving it everything to get across.

  49. 14:50:42 BST

    Wegmann looks in a bad way as Hoogerland, out of the saddle, keeps turning the gears smoothly. It look like he's got a gap with the lone Rabobank rider chasing.

  50. 14:51:42 BST

    This is impressive from Wegmann he's leading the entire peloton, at least what's left of it and he's breaking up the entire field on his own.

  51. 14:52:01 BST

    Martens looks like he's about about catch Hoogerland

  52. 14:52:51 BST

    And now we have two leaders.

  53. 14:54:31 BST

    And Wegmann has brought back most the leaders. Voigt sat up and is now on the front for Leopard. They're giving it everything today.

  54. 14:57:26 BST

    Matthews is still here, now that's interesting and I think that's Degenkolb on his wheel.

  55. 14:59:10 BST

    Martens and Hoogerland working well together.

  56. 15:01:32 BST

    Hondo is also in the main group, in that German national team. He could be a huge danger at the finish. Not sure if Ciolek has made it.

  57. 15:02:52 BST

    Just ten seconds between the two leaders and the chasers.

  58. 15:04:28 BST

    And it's over for Hoogerland and Martens. Immediately we have an attack from Matthews but that's been brought back too.

  59. 15:08:07 BST

    Just over 20 to go and Slagter is the lone leader with the bunch around 5 seconds backs. The bunch has picked up a number of riders, so it around 50-strong.

  60. 15:10:10 BST

    Matthews just at the back of the field stretching his legs

  61. 15:11:13 BST

    An attack from Leopard Trek but it's quickly brought back.

  62. 15:15:29 BST

    Albasini and a few other HTC riders move up to the front for Degenkolb.

  63. 15:15:44 BST

    Burghardt on the front for Hondo

  64. 15:21:04 BST

    schafer who also attacked is about to be caught.

  65. 12km remaining from 202km

    15:22:27 BST

    12 to go and all the sprinters teams have moved to the front.

  66. 15:25:06 BST

    Belka attacks. He looks good but he's never going to get away from a bunch at this speed. Small gap of around 50 meters so far but that's it.

  67. 15:26:59 BST

    Vacan and the German national team move up just as Belka is about to be caught.

  68. 15:27:46 BST

    Wegmann is around 5 riders back. Will be see a move from in the final few kms?

  69. 15:32:02 BST

    Skil Shimano also moving up the field.

  70. 15:32:17 BST

    With no Cav here a lot of sprinters will fancy their chances.

  71. 15:33:06 BST

    Burghardt is forced to chase as a small group of three riders moves clear.

  72. 15:33:27 BST

    And the BMC rider brings it all back together.

  73. 15:34:36 BST

    3 to go

  74. 15:36:51 BST

    Not one team is able to impose itself on the front and this could get messy. 2 to go.

  75. 15:37:25 BST

    Burgy is there on the front again. Matthews is up there.

  76. 15:37:37 BST

    almost a big crash

  77. 15:37:58 BST

    around the final 90 degree turn

  78. 15:39:27 BST

    Matthews looks blocked in on the right hand side and John Degenkolb get it.

  79. 15:40:09 BST

    A class sprint finish and Erik Zabel, twice a winner here, is on hand to give him a warm congratulations.

  80. 15:40:51 BST

    He made it look easy but only really came through in the final 20 meters. The most important 20 meters of the race though.