The 2014 Bayern Rundfahrt features a mountaintop finish on its second stage which may well decide the winner of the five-stage, 784 km long race. The race in southeastern German also has flat stages for the sprinters and a 25-km long time trial on the penultimate stage. Organizers are hoping to field 20 teams, with as many German riders as possible.
The race opens on May 27 with a flat 201.6km romp from Vilshofen to Freilassing, passing through the birthtown of Pope Benedict XVI. A sprint finish is expecte
Stage two will be the Queen stage, and although it is only 165 km long, it will throw 3,300 climbing meters at the peloton as they travel from Freilassing to Reit im Winkl. Underway they will face climbs at Ramsau/Hochschwarzeck and Siegsdorf/Scharam, before taking on the mountaintop finish on the Winklmoos-Alm. The closing climb is four km long with a maximum gradient of 19 percent.
Stage three, 233 km from Grassau to Neusäß, should deliver another sprint finish. If the climbing was not decisive for the GC, then stage four's 25 km long time trial in Wassertrüdingen am Hesselberg should be so. The race ends, as last year, on the roads of the Nürnberger Altstadt. The 160 km include ten laps around Nürnberg's old town.
Despite running against the Giro d'Italia and the Tour of Belgium, race organizer Ewald Strohmeier is optimistic of being able to present a good field. "Of course we want to give German riders the chance to perform in front of their home public. That applies to the top riders from the large international teams as well as for the riders from the German Continental teams."
Team MTN-Qhubeka will be amongst those participating, with Strohmeier hoping that the team's two top Germans will be there. Gerald Ciolek won a stage in 2013 and wore the leader's jersey for one stage. "Maybe Linus Gerdemann, also with MTN-Qhubeka in 2014, will celebrate his return to us." Gerdemann was the last German to win the overall title in the race, having done so in 2009.
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