The third round of Bundesliga International, the German national mountain bike series, will take place this weekend in Albstadt at the sixth annual Gonso Albstadt Classic. Olympic champions Sabine Spitz and Julien Absalon are among those expected to attend along with other favorites like Florian Vogel and Lisi Osl. In all, 1000 riders are expected from 20 different nations.
Spitz recently returned to competition after eight months off to recover from an injury.
Only the racing will prove whether Spitz is able to defend her win from 2009, when she finished ahead of teammate Lisi Osl. Other women expected to challenge the Central Pro ladies are Blaza Klemencic (Felt-Ötztal-X-Bionic), Annika Langvad (HMTBK) who was the winner of the second round at Heubach, and Rosara Joseph.
Orbea's Absalon heads the men's list of entrants, but other favorites on the list are German Champion Wolfram Kurschat (Topeak-Ergon), who wants to win the HC-categorized race, last year's winner Florian Vogel (Scott-Swisspower), Ralph Näf (Multivan-Merida) and Lukas and Mathias Flückiger (Trek World Racing).
"Even though I had a break after Offenburg (World Cup), I think I'm in a good shape, and I'm very motivated for the race. The long steep climb suits me," said Vogel.
The event will happen in Albstadt, in the southwestern part of Germany.