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Trans Germany gets minor route changes

The third edition of the Craft Bike Trans Germany will run from June 21 to June 27 on a similar course to the one used last year. Just a few marginal adjustments have been made to the first six of seven total stages of Germany's biggest off road stage race.

On the way from Erbach im Odenwald to Seiffen, more than 400 participants will start the traditional team event in a new solo category. The race will follow a saw-tooth profile across seven Central German Uplands.

The most significant course change will be seen by racers at the end of the first stage. This year, the route will take a small loop around Neudorf just after a downhill from Fichtelberg. Then it follows the Bimmelbahn-Erlebnispfad, which parallels the Fichtelberg train track, before returning to last year's route.

"We were able to replace the asphalt section in the Natzschung valley with forest roads, high routes and a downhill at Olbernhau," said Race Director Jens Uhlig.

Uhlig recent covered the entire distance of the race on a new BMW G 450X motorcycle, and afterward, he said, "The whole set-up is very demanding - even on a motor bike." He believes the constant ups and downs will take their toll on racers.

Trans Germany 2009
June 21: Stage 1 - Erbach im Odenwald, Hessen - Frammersbach in Spessart, Bayern
June 22: Stage 2 - Frammersbach in Spessart, Bayern - Bischofsheim in der Rhön, Bayern
June 23: Stage 3 - Bischofsheim in der Rhön, Bayern - Oberhof, Thüringen
June 24: Stage 4 - Oberhof, Thüringen - Bad Steben, Bayern
June 25: Stage 5 - Bad Steben, Bayern - Schöneck im Vogtland, Sachsen
June 26: Stage 6 - Schöneck in Vogtland, Sachsen - Oberwiesenthal, Sachsen
June 27: Stage 7 - Oberwiesenthal, Sachsen - Kurort Seiffen, Sachsen

Race registration remains open until June 15. For more information, visit www.bike-transgermany.de.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.