Lang favourite for Länder-Tour

Already after the first stage of the 3-Länder-Tour, three riders enjoy a six-minute advantage over their nearest competitors, and more than 20 minutes over most of the field. More than likely, stage winner and race leader Patrik Sinkewitz (T-Mobile Team), Frank Schleck (Team CSC) or Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner) will be the overall winner when the race finishes in Frankfurt on Sunday.

Said CSC directeur sportif Tristan Hoffman: "Frank was really strong out there and very motivated to show that he's ready for the last part of the season.

"With the lead those three riders have now, it actually looks like the race might've been decided early, which would be in Lang's favour, because he's already the favourite for the time trial the day after tomorrow [Thursday]," Hoffman said on, who unfortunately has to do without Jakob Piil for the remainder of the race. "But Sunday's stage is a hilly one as well, so that might change things a bit."

"That was a super prelude, couldn't be better," said Gerolsteiner DS Christian Henn in a team statement. "Sebastian really rode strong; he went with each attack and gave everything."

About Jakob Piil's early exit, Hoffman said: "Jakob was actually in the break, but had problems with a sore, which kept getting worse as the day progressed, so he chose to abandon."

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