The race around the Cadolzburg in Germany is a mini-Flanders, with short sections of cobbles, a steep climb, many spectators and the unpredictable weather. This year's edition was won by Sebastian Hans from Team Mapei-Heizomat. It was Hans' first victory for the team in blue. The strong showing of Mapei-Heizomat was completed by Christoph Schwerdt and Florian Völk in fifth and sixth, respectively.
The race went over seven laps of 21.6 kilometres, for a total of 151.2 kilometres. It started out in cool and rainy conditions. Mapei-Heizomat was trying to get the win to Schwerdt, who is the local boy on the team, coming from near-by Nürnberg. Schwerdt, Völk and Hans made the ten-man break that peeled off the peloton midway through the race.
At the end of the last lap a five-man break developed with Schwerdt, Hans, Martin Hebik (Team Sparta Prag), Dutchman Malya van Ruitenbeek (Team Kuota-Senges) and Tobias Erler (3C-Gruppe). The quintet took 30 seconds going into the last lap of 21.6 kilometres. Hans was able to win the sprint ahead of Hebik, van Ruitenbeek, Erler and Schwerdt.
The chasers were led home by Völk. His directeur sportif, Markus Schleicher, was impressed. "A respectable performance, considering he is only 19 and can not train as much, due to his education." But Schleicher was overall a happy man. "I am very happy with the performance of the whole team." Robert Retschke of Mapei-Heizomat was 11th, winning the sprint of the main peloton, with team-mate Kim Lachmann in 13th.
(Additional reporting and research provided by Monika Prell and Susan Westemeyer.)
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