German Bundesliga starts without radios

With Cottbus-Görlitz-Cottbus, a 190-kilometre race on Easter Monday, March 24, the German Bundesliga season will start. Due to the new UCI ban of radios in U23 races, the teams will have to revert to the old style of racing. The directeur sportif of the Thüringer Energie Team, Jens Lang, explained that "In the last races we emphasised for the riders to be close to each other, so that they can communicate." Thüringer Energie Team is optimistic for Monday. They are the defending champion of the Bundesliga teams overall title.

The UCI is hoping that the U23 will be less tactical and that the independence of the athletes will be developed better. Lang added that "The best will win anyway, the rule won't change that ... A hierarchy for the team is necessary. There has to be one who calls the shots during the race. But sure, I will give instructions from the side of the road or from the team car, when they get bottles." Lang was also quick in pointing out that a safety aspect has been lost. "I used the radio to give information about the route." Construction zones, a narrowing road or a dangerous descent – things he can't warn the riders from anymore as conveniently. The athletes will once again have to watch out for themselves.

Despite being the defending champion, Lang saw other teams in the advantage. "Team Ista started the season very early in Malaysia ... Team Lamonta has last year's winner Sebastian Forke and German champion Dominic Klemme. There are other teams who have to deliver." But Thüringer Energie will bank on its sprinter, Philipp Klein, on the flat course. He finished eighth in the final sprint in the recent Istrian Spring Trophy, in Croatia.

Thüringer Energie Team will ride with Florian Frohn, Oliver Giesecke, Marcel Kittel, Karsten Heß, Philipp Klein, Lucas Schädlich, Marcel Barth and John Degenkolb.

The races of the 2008 Bundesliga season are as follows:

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