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A race that desspite the climbs is always won by a sprinter. I have no doubt it will be the same this year.

Notable riders: Philipsen, De Lie, Kristoff, Matthews, Bennet, Trentin, Hirschi, Bauhaus, Ackermann


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Live video stream available on Eurosport/GCN.

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Full startlist (not yet final):

Map:

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Profile:

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At least they're trying to toughen it up again and there's not so far from the last time up Mammolshain to the line, but sadly this used to be a great and varied race, but of late teams just do not have faith that they can beat the sprint trains, and the selections that teams send to the race are heavily tilted in favour of sprinters, without even too many strong baroudeurs to offer hope anymore. It was kind of weird how large the group Degenkolb won from in 2011, but now that's kind of the default for the race. It's a shame because there's a lot of potential in the course, but the way it plays out at least as long as the finish has to be in the Finanzplatz area meaning lots of wide open boulevards and a long flat run-in kind of reduces the chances of maximising the obstacles that there are in 2023-era cycling, at least with the kind of field that the race attracts. If a couple of teams without real sprinters could be encouraged to send some strong young baroudeurs like when Moreno Moser won the race it could be interesting, but the calendar spot means the most likely riders to break the sprinters' grips are the Classics elites who are either running down their form or on a scheduled break.

My hope is for a high tempo and some attacks meaning that it's a reduced bunch and we don't get a full on leadout, meaning there will at least be the hope of some late attacks.
 
Most of the teams still treat this as a sprint race. That's really a bit strange with that course. I think it's harder then it looks like. The second Feldberg with Mammolshain is quite hard. If some climbers make the race there it will be really hard for most of the sprinters. With a lot of negativ racing this still could be a 40 - 50 riders sprint.
Looking at the startlist, EF, Jayco and Intermarché should be interested in making the race hard. Perhaps some teams join who loose their sprinter early.
 
Parcours offer plenty of opportunities to toughen up the race and drop most if not all of the sprinters. Unfortunately this is highly unlikely given the rosters the teams have sent to the race as they are all seemingly happy to have a final km drag race.

If the race was prestigious enough for Remco and Pogacar to target and have their teams light it up all day we would have a very different experience.
 
The problem with this race is that its traditional date is about the worst spot possible on the calendar if you don’t want a sprint. Right after the Ardennes, clashing with Romandie and really close to the Giro, there are simply very few climbers and Ardennes-type riders who are ever going to bother with any other race at the start of May no matter how hard the route is and therefore you invariably get a field full of sprinters here. If it was in a better spot, the old route would have been enough to prevent full bunch sprints of the kind we usually see these days. With this new route, it will still just be a rerun of 2021 - Jayco are the only team who want to push on the climbs, therefore everything comes back together for a sprint that is inevitably won by Philipsen. Now, yes, there comes a point when the route is too hard for the sprinters anyway - like if you do 4 laps Mammolshain-Feldberg - but then you just get the Giro di Toscana with a worse field. And I don’t think a WT race should aspire to be a worse version of a 1.1 race either…
 
The problem with this race is that its traditional date is about the worst spot possible on the calendar if you don’t want a sprint. Right after the Ardennes, clashing with Romandie and really close to the Giro, there are simply very few climbers and Ardennes-type riders who are ever going to bother with any other race at the start of May no matter how hard the route is and therefore you invariably get a field full of sprinters here. If it was in a better spot, the old route would have been enough to prevent full bunch sprints of the kind we usually see these days. With this new route, it will still just be a rerun of 2021 - Jayco are the only team who want to push on the climbs, therefore everything comes back together for a sprint that is inevitably won by Philipsen. Now, yes, there comes a point when the route is too hard for the sprinters anyway - like if you do 4 laps Mammolshain-Feldberg - but then you just get the Giro di Toscana with a worse field. And I don’t think a WT race should aspire to be a worse version of a 1.1 race either…

This you either move spots on the calendar or you stop making it harder for the sprinters because before you know it they will also just skip it and you have by far the worst WT field of the year.
 
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I don't think the date is major issue, this has only turned into a boring sprint race the past couple of editions, and it always took place on May 1st. Even those Kristoff wins were partly from very reduced groups.

But yeah, maybe WT is. A weaker field would probably lead to a better race.
 
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The new course should be easily hard enough to give a breakaway a chance for a victory. It was relatively close in 2018 when they made the race harder and now it's 10 hard kms up with the second Feldberg crossing. No Walscheid, bennett or bauhaus makes it over this if the race is on. That could animate the race in theory. Do you want to be beaten by Philipsen or do you try to attack and make it hard. I wouldn't understand it at all if EF, israel or Total just sat in to fight for a 8th place in the Sprint if they can also achieve that and attack.

I think Intermarche have a nice squad to open the race up. Zimmermann will attack for sure and also guys like Rota and Bystrom can make a smaller front group. Rutsch and Steinhauser will be also on the attack for EF. I actually could save the race that Germany doesn't have a world class sprinter anymore so there will come a bit of action from the Germans (als Engelhardt, Osborne, Politt, the whole DSM team, would profit from attacking). Another factor could be that if a sprinter of a big team folds that his could open up the race so much more. Bora e.g. have a pretty good climby/classics squad here so if Bennett gets dropped early they have to try to attack. If Ackermann isn't up for it Trentin and Hirschi are ready to go. And wouldn't it be good if Soren Kragh and Osborne weren't chained by Philipsen?

Likeliest scenario is that those strong riders will make the front group and then sabotage it which is only a good tactic if you are Alpecin. Also de Lie and Matthews should be able to outclimb guys like Kristoff and Philipsen by a minute in the big mountain combo in the middle. When the peleton had there foot on the gas at the Mammolshain sprinters were often crawling over the top of the climb and now theres a 8 km climb. When you consider what took out Vernon or Gaviria in Tour of Romandie this week this is much harder as a "stage".

In the end the riders make the race and unfortunately the peleton says that this has to be a sprint. I hope the teams I mentioned disagree.
 
And wouldn't it be good if Soren Kragh and Osborne weren't chained by Philipsen?
I don't think they will be. This is Philipsen's only race in the middle of a 2 month break, so he probably is mainly here because of the sponsor.

He may still go for a result, of course, but keeping the full team around him today normally makes no sense.

over 5 hours of coverage on GCN

I've never really noticed this race before, but it must be a monster to warrant that much coverage.

it's always broadcasted from start to finish in German regional tv. They usually even have interviews with Tony Martin's mother
 
I don't think they will be. This is Philipsen's only race in the middle of a 2 month break, so he probably is mainly here because of the sponsor.

He may still go for a result, of course, but keeping the full team around him today normally makes no sense.



it's always broadcasted from start to finish in German regional tv. They usually even have interviews with Tony Martin's mother
I don‘t think Tony Martin‘s mother is going to be interviewed this year.
But I‘m sure regional tv will still show absolute highlights like some report about John Degenkolb because the race goes through Oberursel, where he lives or people playing bagpipes in Eppstein and commentator Florian Naß, after burning through two TV experts and probably hosting some sort of lottery quiz where you can win a cycling jersey, walking from his original commentating spot in front of the Old Opera to a booth next to the finish line, which is usually shown at least in split screen at about 30 k to go. And I‘m sure they‘ll get around to interviewing André Greipel since he‘s the new DS for the German national team.
 
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The problem with this race is that its traditional date is about the worst spot possible on the calendar if you don’t want a sprint. Right after the Ardennes, clashing with Romandie and really close to the Giro, there are simply very few climbers and Ardennes-type riders who are ever going to bother with any other race at the start of May no matter how hard the route is and therefore you invariably get a field full of sprinters here. If it was in a better spot, the old route would have been enough to prevent full bunch sprints of the kind we usually see these days. With this new route, it will still just be a rerun of 2021 - Jayco are the only team who want to push on the climbs, therefore everything comes back together for a sprint that is inevitably won by Philipsen. Now, yes, there comes a point when the route is too hard for the sprinters anyway - like if you do 4 laps Mammolshain-Feldberg - but then you just get the Giro di Toscana with a worse field. And I don’t think a WT race should aspire to be a worse version of a 1.1 race either…
Damn, only now have I realised that this race has been WT since 2017. Or rather, I have been reminded of it again.

It should really switch dates with Hamburg.
 
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At least they're trying to toughen it up again and there's not so far from the last time up Mammolshain to the line, but sadly this used to be a great and varied race, but of late teams just do not have faith that they can beat the sprint trains, and the selections that teams send to the race are heavily tilted in favour of sprinters, without even too many strong baroudeurs to offer hope anymore. It was kind of weird how large the group Degenkolb won from in 2011, but now that's kind of the default for the race. It's a shame because there's a lot of potential in the course, but the way it plays out at least as long as the finish has to be in the Finanzplatz area meaning lots of wide open boulevards and a long flat run-in kind of reduces the chances of maximising the obstacles that there are in 2023-era cycling, at least with the kind of field that the race attracts. If a couple of teams without real sprinters could be encouraged to send some strong young baroudeurs like when Moreno Moser won the race it could be interesting, but the calendar spot means the most likely riders to break the sprinters' grips are the Classics elites who are either running down their form or on a scheduled break.

My hope is for a high tempo and some attacks meaning that it's a reduced bunch and we don't get a full on leadout, meaning there will at least be the hope of some late attacks.
It's just not the calibre of race that attracts the riders that can beat the sprint trains.

And I don't remember it ever being in an actually nice spot in the calendar.
 
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I don‘t think Tony Martin‘s mother is going to be interviewed this year.
But I‘m sure regional tv will still show absolute highlights like some report about John Degenkolb because the race goes through Oberursel, where he lives or people playing bagpipes in Eppstein and commentator Florian Naß, after burning through two TV experts and probably hosting some sort of lottery quiz where you can win a cycling jersey, walking from his original commentating spot in front of the Old Opera to a booth next to the finish line, which is usually shown at least in split screen at about 30 k to go. And I‘m sure they‘ll get around to interviewing André Greipel since he‘s the new DS for the German national team.
Is Sinky rehabilitated enough to be shown on the broadcast? He used to be an annual fixture in the broadcast too since he's from Fulda.
 
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The problem with this race is that its traditional date is about the worst spot possible on the calendar if you don’t want a sprint. Right after the Ardennes, clashing with Romandie and really close to the Giro, there are simply very few climbers and Ardennes-type riders who are ever going to bother with any other race at the start of May no matter how hard the route is and therefore you invariably get a field full of sprinters here. If it was in a better spot, the old route would have been enough to prevent full bunch sprints of the kind we usually see these days. With this new route, it will still just be a rerun of 2021 - Jayco are the only team who want to push on the climbs, therefore everything comes back together for a sprint that is inevitably won by Philipsen. Now, yes, there comes a point when the route is too hard for the sprinters anyway - like if you do 4 laps Mammolshain-Feldberg - but then you just get the Giro di Toscana with a worse field. And I don’t think a WT race should aspire to be a worse version of a 1.1 race either…
Also, the selection is made on mid sized climbs, but there's 0 chance for further selection near the finale so a lot of decent climbers could make a final selection but have a near 0 chance of winning.

If you want a 'sprint or no sprint' format for a race, I think this is the wrong way to go, and I think you're much better off using smaller difficulties closer to the finish.
 
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Is Sinky rehabilitated enough to be shown on the broadcast? He used to be an annual fixture in the broadcast too since he's from Fulda.
No, I don‘t think so but I forgot to tell of the balance bike race that is organized by Jens Voigt and Degenkolb I think, and which is broadcast in full, the whole two hundred meters of it.
 
Looking at the start list I miss a few WT teams. So is this a WT race that WT teams can opt out? I didn't know that was possible.

Basically all the WT races that became WT races after 2017 are optional.

No, I don‘t think so but I forgot to tell of the balance bike race that is organized by Jens Voigt and Degenkolb I think, and which is broadcast in full, the whole two hundred meters of it.

There could even be some "big names" participating.
 
Also, the selection is made on mid sized climbs, but there's 0 chance for further selection near the finale so a lot of decent climbers could make a final selection but have a near 0 chance of winning.

If you want a 'sprint or no sprint' format for a race, I think this is the wrong way to go, and I think you're much better off using smaller difficulties closer to the finish.
The problem is that now the race doesn't finish over by the former Henninger Turm with the gradual uphill of Hainer Weg, there isn't even really a ramp near the end, and approaching Frankfurt from the northwest there aren't really any obstacles closer than the Mammolshainer Berg that are big enough to be worthwhile platforms to attack from for a pro péloton. The better hope would be to add more Feldberg and Ruppertshain and some of the other climbs around the Taunus range to burn off more sprinters and create a thinner selection that allows for a more tactical run-in.

Otherwise if you want a smaller obstacle near the finish you have to go back across Frankfurt and over to Bergen-Enkheim on the east of the city for Röhrborngasse, which is about 800m at 9% with max 20%. It's been used in the Hessen-Rundfahrt and for the German nationals, but never in the Maitagrennen.
 
The final 7.3km flat lap really adds nothing to the race. They could just drop it and long range moves on the climbs would get a bit more of a chance, making it a bit more of a gamble between attackers and a (reduced) bunch sprint.
they have reduced it to one lap at least for this edition, so 7k less to chase after the Mammolshainer.

Rutsch (he is a local as well) said that the new course is really hard, and most teams seem to undererstimate it.
 
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