Team Milram Aiming for Home Turf Success in Sunday's Vattenfall Cyclassics
Team Milram has many options for home turf success this coming Sunday in the 14th edition of the UCI ProTour race Vattenfall Cyclassics. Six of the team's 2009 Tour de France starters will tackle the 216 kilometers with start and finish in Hamburg, Germany, allowing for a wide variety of possible team tactics. The German team will, however, have to do without Fabian Wegmann who is still suffering from injuries caused by a crash in the team time trial at the Tour de France. His place will be taken by Slovakian road champion Martin Velits.
"Races in Germany are always a very special motivation,“ Christian Henn, Team Milram's Directeur Sportif said on Thursday. "Despite the strong competition, we dream of winning this highly-ranked German one-day race. It is, of course, bitter that we will have to do without Fabian Wegmann. We have a good substitute in Martin Velits, for this challenging race. I think that we have put together a team that will do well in both a sprint finish and in escape groups."
The 216 km course in and around Hamburg runs over the Waseberg four times. The final crossing, only 30 km before the finish, has often been the scene of a decisive attack in previous editions of the Vattenfall Cyclassics (HEW-Cyclassics). Although the latest editions have been characterized by sprint finishes, the course profile of the German one-day race offers enough possibilities for a successful breakaway.
Four riders in the current Milram squad finished in the top 20 last year. Peter Wrolich sprinted to sixth place in the mass sprint, and his then-Gerolsteiner teammate Fabian Wegmann finished 10th. Peter Velits was the best Milram finisher in 11th place, while Gerald Ciolek finished 14th for Team Columbia. The current Milram riders also did well in the 2007 race. Sprinter Gerald Ciolek reached the podium with a third place finish and Peter Wrolich made the top ten with a ninth-place finish. Former Milram rider Erik Zabel finished fifth. The previous year Zabel finished second, while Ciolek was a surprise fifth for Team Wiesenhof Akud.
The Milram line-up for the 2009 Vattenfall Cyclassics:
Gerald Ciolek (GER / Ermatingen, SUI), Markus Fothen (GER / Kaarst), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER / Freiburg im Breisgau), Christian Knees (GER / Euskirchen), Niki Terpstra (NED / Haarlem), Martin Velits (SVK / Riemst,BEL), Paul Voß (GER / Bielefeld), Peter Wrolich (AUT / Klagenfurt).
Christian Henn (GER).