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3-Länder-Tour der Sparkassen Versicherung - 2.1
Germany, September 19-23, 2007
By Bjorn Haake
The 3-Länder Tour used to be called the Hessen-Rundfahrt and subsequently restricted to a single state in southwestern Germany. Now the Tour has expanded to three states (Hessen, Thüringen and Baden-Württemberg). 700 kilometres is the distance the riders have to manage between the start in Gera, in East Germany, and the finish in Bad Dürrheim, home to the popular sparkling mineral water of the same name.
The first day, going from Gera to Gotha, is already very hilly and the riders will be above 400 to 600 metres of altitude several times. There are also two KOM points, one category one and one category two climb. The riders will have to tackle 187.3 kilometres before the winner will be decided - look for the Energie Thüringener, the home town team so to speak, to be on the hunt for good results. Its team leader, Nico Graf, finished a strong fifth at the Nürnberger Altstadtrennen last weekend. Energie Thüringener also has Florian Frohn and Oliver Giesecke for the mountainous area in the Thüringer Wald.
The second stage then runs over 141 kilometres, on a long, almost 30-kilometre loop, to be done five times. It starts and ends in Lollar and each lap has one little KOM, but it is unlikely that it'll shake the sprinters. The third stage ends in Frankfurt a.M. after 163 mostly flat kilometres from Lollar. Mostly flat? Yes, with the exception of the 835-metre high KOM, which is located 58 kilometres from the finish. But again, a sprint is expected into the banking capital of Germany.
The fourth stage is a time trial around Tübingen. While it doesn't contain major hills anybody familiar with the area will realize that it's not possible to make a perfectly flat time trial over 23 kilometres. The riders will have to climb from 333 metres to 482 metres of altitude and in a time trial that can hurt.
The final day will offer five KOM's and after a gentle start the race goes up to and stays in the medium mountains. The finish is located at 700 metres and there may be a likely change in the overall on the last metres of the parcours.
Besides the above mentioned Energie Thüringener team there are also the ProTour outfits of Gerolsteiner (Bernhard Kohl), T-Mobile (Marcus Burghardt, Gerald Ciolek), CSC (Jens Voigt), Milram (Christian Knees, Marcel Sieberg) and Rabobank (Michael Boogerd, Juan Antonio Flecha) at the start line. Agritubel, Wiesenhof (with Steffen Wesemann), Skil-Shimano (Maarten Den Bakker and Paul Martens) and Elk-Haus Simplon (Christian Pfannberger and Harald Totschnig, the brother of retired former Gerolsteiner pro Georg) will also try to contend for a good overall classification.
Then there are several domestic teams trying to win a stage, like 3C Gruppe-Lamonta, Regiostrom-Senges, Sparkasse, Akud Rose and Heinz von Heiden. There is also one Autralian team, the Southaustralia.com team.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Florian Schaaf/www.cyclingpictures.de
Gerolsteiner Team CSC 1 Thomas Fothen (Ger) 11 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) 2 Bernhard Kohl (Aut) 12 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) 3 Sven Krauss (Ger) 13 Jens Voigt (Ger) 4 Volker Ordowski (Ger) 14 Bobby Julich (USA) 5 Ronny Scholz (Ger) 15 Frank Schleck (Lux) 6 Oscar Gatto (Ita) 16 Luke Roberts (Aus) T-Mobile Team Team Milram 21 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) 31 Christian Knees (Ger) 22 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) 32 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) 23 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) 33 Björn Schröder (Ger) 24 Marco Pinotti (Ita) 34 Ralf Grabsch (Ger) 25 Marcel Beima (Ned) 35 Sebastian Siedler (Ger) 36 Enrico Poitschke (Ger) Rabobank Agritubel 42 Thorwald Veneberg (Ned) 51 Aivaras Baranauskas (Ltu) 43 Michael Boogerd (Ned) 52 Manuel Calvente Gorbas (Spa) 44 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) 53 Samuel Plouhinec (Fra) 45 Gerben Löwik (Ned) 54 Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez (Spa) 46 Pieter Weening (Ned) 55 José Albert Martinez Trinidad (Spa) 56 Anthony Ravard (Fra) Team Wiesenhof Felt Skil - Shimano 61 Robert Retschke (Ger) 71 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) 62 Martin Velits (Svk) 72 Albert Timmer (Ned) 63 Daniel Musiol (Ger) 73 Clément Lhotellerie (Fra) 64 Olaf Pollack (Ger) 74 Paul Martens (Ger) 65 Steffen Wesemann (Swi) 75 Christoph Meschenmoser (Ger) 66 Peter Velits (Svk) 76 Thierry Dupont (Fra) Elk Haus - Simplon Team 3C - Gruppe Lamonta 81 Christian Pfannberger (Aut) 91 Frank Scherzinger (Ger) 82 Marc Weisshaupt (Ger) 92 Holger Sievers (Ger) 83 Stefan Rucker (Aut) 93 Sergej Fuchs (Ger) 84 Clemens Frankhauser (Aut) 94 Elnathan Heizmann (Ger) 85 Jan Valach (Svk) 95 Erik Hoffmann (Nam) 86 Harald Totschnig (Aut) 96 Björn Papstein (Ger) Team Regiostrom - Senges Team Sparkasse 101 Laurent Didier (Lux) 111 Lars Wackernagel (Ger) 102 Maint Berkenbosch (Ned) 112 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) 103 Konstantin Schubert (Ger) 113 Jonas Owczarek (Ger) 104 Björn Glasner (Ger) 114 Timo Honstein (Ger) 105 Stefan Ganser (Ger) 115 Richard Faltus (Cze) 106 Malaya Van Ruitenbeek (Ned) 116 Dirk Müller (Ger) Thüringer Energie Team Team Akud-Rose Versand 121 Marcel Barth (Ger) 131 Sebastian Hans (Ger) 122 Nico Graf (Ger) 132 Dominik Roels (Ger) 123 Florian Frohn (Ger) 133 Patric Röstel (Ger) 124 Oliver Giesecke (Ger) 134 Mitja Schlüter (Ger) 125 Patrick Gretsch (Ger) 135 Jens Grewe (Ger) 126 Lucas Schädlich (Ger) 136 Daniel Westmattelmann (Ger) South Australia.com - AIS Heinz von Heiden Focus 141 Simon Clarke (Aus) 151 Richard Geng (Ger) 142 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) 152 Christoph Von Kleinsorgen (Ger) 143 Gene Bates (Aus) 153 Serge Herz (Ger) 144 Lachlan Norris (Aus) 154 Dennis Pohl (Ger) 145 Johnny Walker (Aus) 155 Finn Heitmann (Ger) 156 Martin Hebik (Cze)
2006 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Gerolsteiner 2005 Cezary Zamana (Pol) Intel-Action 2004 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Gerolsteiner 2003 Cédric Vasseur (Fra) Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone 2002 Uwe Peschel (Ger) Gerolsteine 2001 Michael Blaudzun (Den) CSC Tiscali 2000 Tobias Steinhauser (Ger) 1999 Jens Zemke (Ger) 1998 Grischa Niermann (Ger) 1997 (2) Christian Henn (Ger) 1996 Ralf Grabsch (Ger) 1995 (2) Pavel Padrnos (Cze) 1994 Pavel Padrnos (Cze) 1993 Ralf Schmidt (Ger) 1992 Bert Dietz (Ger) 1991 Brian Fowler (NZl) 1990 Christophe Capelle (Fra) 1989 Matthew Stephens (GBr) 1988 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) 1987 Jens Heppner (Ger) 1986 Christian Henn (Ger) 1985 Hartmut Bölts (Ger) 1984 (2) Thomas Freienstein (Ger) 1983 Ludek Kubias (Cze) 1982 Thomas Freienstein (Ger) Past winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com