By Susan Westemeyer
The 2008 Deutschland Tour is wide open this year, with no one clear favourite and many possibilities, and a varied course that offers something for everyone. After a short prologue, the very first road stage is the Queen Stage, with a mountaintop finish, opening up the possibility of a strong climber claiming the overall victory from the beginning on.
The Tour features a strong line-up, actually stronger than might be expected since the Vuelta is running simultaneously, but some very big names are missing, and all can be found in Spain. Andreas Klöden of Astana, Stefan Schumacher of Gerolsteiner and Milram's Erik Zabel all gave preference to the Vuelta this year.
Jens Voigt of Team CSC could become the first rider to win the Deutschland Tour three times, and three times in a row, at that. The German doesn't necessarily see himself as favourite to win the eight stage, 1,408 kilometre race, and there are even a number of other Germans – and German speakers – who could challenge for the title. Voigt has had only two wins this season, but they were big ones. He took the overall title in the Criterium International and won stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia.
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