The Skoda Velothon Berlin Pro Race, taking place on May 22 and organised by Erik Zabel, has announced a solid field for the event, including Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek). In its first edition, the Pro Race has attracted six WorldTour teams and a number of great names of the international peloton. On top of Cancellara, his teammates Stuart O'Grady and Joost Posthuma, John Degenkolb (HTC), Marcel Kittel (Skil-Shimano), Greg van Avermaet (BMC), Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil), Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo) and André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) are also planned to take the start.
The UCI Cat. 1.1 event, which is hoped to receive WorldTour status by 2013, will be raced over 182 kilometres and includes a finishing circuit in and around downtown Berlin's Tiergarten park.
Zabel, who is putting in great efforts to make the race revive the deteriorating German cycling scene, was happy to line up such a powerful field. "Very successful and well-known cyclists like Cancellara, O'Grady, Posthuma and Haussler are on top of the start list next to young talents like Kittel and Degenkolb. This shows the high importance of the race," he said.
The ProTeams at the start will be BMC Racing, Leopard Trek, Garmin-Cervelo, HTC-Highroad, Omega Pharma-Lotto and Vacansoleil. Three Pro Continental Teams will be represented with CCC Polsat Polkowice, Skil-Shimano and Netapp. Continental teams include Ac Sparta Praha, Bkcp - Powerplus, Adria Mobil, Lkt Team Brandenburg, Atlas Personal, Nutrixxion Sparkasse, Champion-System, Eddy Merckx-Indeland, Heizomat, Team NSP and Tt Raikon Argon 18. The filed will be rounded out by two national teams, Germany U23 and Russia.