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Knees to lead German national team in Rund um Köln

Christian Knees (Sky Procycling) signed from Milram in the winter

Christian Knees (Sky Procycling) signed from Milram in the winter (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Christian Knees will lead a German national team at Rund um Köln next month. The German champion will lead a high-powered eight man team at the first major German race of the season.

Race organisers announced on Wednesday that the German team will consist of Knees (Sky), Danilo Hondo (Lampre-ISD), Robert Förster (UnitedHealthcare), Gerald Ciolek and Andreas Stauff (both Quick Step), Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Andreas Klier (Garmin-Cervélo) and Dominik Nerz (Liquigas-Cannondale).

The race will feature 23 teams, including four ProTeams: Leopard Trek, Rabobank, Vacansoleil-DCM and Katusha. Team NetApp, as Germany's only Professional Continental-ranked team, will also participate.

Rounding out the field are Skil-Shimano, CCC Polsat, Landbouwkrediet, Nutrixxion Sparkasse, Eddy Merckx-Indeland, NSP, TT Raiko - Argon 18, Heizomat, Seven Stones, Team Vorarlberg, Tyrol Team, Donckers Coffee – Jelly Belly, AC Sparta Praha, Glud & Marstrand-LRO, Cyclingteam Jo Piels, Adria Mobil, and An Post – Sean Kelly.

Rund um Köln, traditionally held on Easter Monday, runs 203 kilometres from Gummersbach to Köln (Cologne) on April 25. The 2010 edition was won by Juan Jose Haedo of Saxo Bank, whose team is not participating this year.