Vattenfall Cyclassics (GER) - 15.08.2010
The Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg, Germany, is one of the youngest one-day road races in the UCI ProTour but thanks to excellent organisation it has rapidly become a great day of cycling, combining an exciting professional race with a mass ride for thousands of every-day cyclists.
The professional riders compete over a distance of 225km that ends with several laps of a finely balanced finishing circuit. Before the finish of the professional race, 20,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities enjoy riding on the same circuit. They then pack Hamburg city centre to watch the finish of the professional race. For at least one day of the year cyclists really do rule the road in Hamburg.
The Vattenfall Cyclassics is so finely balanced that it is impossible to predict whether or not the race will end in a sprint and who will be strong enough to win. The climb on the final circuit from the shores of the Elbe river is short but steep, which hurts after five hours of racing. Attacks come thick and fast and the attackers are not always caught before the finish.
Last year American sprinter Tyler Farrar of the Garmin-Slipstream team took a breakthrough win. It was his first classic win and he then went on to win other sprints in the second half of the season.
Farrar will be back in 2010 but all the other sprinters will be out to beat him, especially German sprinters such as Gerald Ciolek (Team Milram) and AndrÃ© Greipel (Team HTC-Columbia).