Team Cyclingnews.com - Down Under - 2004
TEAG Rund um die Hainleite - 1.3, Germany, May 29, 2004
Racing with Jan
By Cameron Jennings
A few days easy were on the cards after the Booischot Kermis before our next appointment in Germany for TEAG Hainleite, a 1.3 held in the heart of the former East Germany at the city of Erfurt, not too far away from Dresden, the city that was completely flattened during WW2. We left the day before and were told that it was only a six hour drive. Some road works, the teams customary u-turn(s) and nine hours had passed before we actually settled into our digs. A quick flick of the channels to watch some of the Giro and we headed out for a ride.
Woke the next morning to a sunny sky and rolled out of the hotel at 9am for the 10am start. Sign-on and star-spotting took up the next hour as we readied ourselves for the start and had a chat with Rory Sutherland, a man in some good form for Rabobank Div III team. Among the stars spotted were Jan Ullrich and Erik Zabel so it was going to be a pretty tough 185km.
First 50km were done in an hour as we floated along wide highways towards the day's first obstacle, a 5km climb. Just before the climb, Dave went for a prime and placed fourth with a guy making a move straight over top and was away. The bunch settled down a little and let the guy get a break and the race tempoed over the climb. Having said that, a lot of guys were dropped but easily got back on on the long descent.
Pace was still high, set by Wiesenhof and we quickly found ourselves back in Erfurt after 145km for the five local laps and five ascensions of a 1km, 10% climb. This is where the race really started. Guys were looping off the front every lap, but every time we headed back over the line just before the climb it was always back together. Third time over the hill, a Saeco rider was away with the bunch of 50 still intact with Dave, Eric, Sven, Phil and myself still there. Fourth time it split but came back together apart form the Saeco rider and the fifth time up all the big guns blazed, shelling Dave and me out the back among others but still Phil and Eric holding tough. The Saeco rider got caught on the line with Jan coming in fifth. Watch out Lance... he was looking pretty good spinning away in the bunch.
Phil and Eric came in 1min down and Dave and I were 2'30 down in 51st and 52nd respectively.
Trip back was a lot better and this time it took six hours, so we were all happy about that. We also had a camera crew on board with us for the weekend from the website cyclingtv.com. Two English guys who film races from around the world which can be viewed on the internet. They followed the team a little at GP Lincoln and they filmed us on Thursday, Friday and Saturday in an effort to make a documentary on the team. Hopefully it will all turn out well.
That's it for now. A 1.5 tomorrow called Cras-Avernas and then four days in the Ardennes as we prepare for Circuito Montanes in Spain.