Rally Cycling arrived in Koblenz, Germany this week to race the 33rd edition of the Deutschland Tour, the final leg of a month-long European campaign. The Deutschland Tour is Germany’s premier stage race and will be attended by the world’s top cyclists, including defending Tour de France Champion Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and TdF runner-up Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb). Held in southwest Germany, the race runs from August 23 – 26 and covers 737 km. Three of the four stages feature decisive climbs in the final 10 km of racing, where the classics specialists are expected to test Rally Cycling’s sprinters’ resolve.
The undulating stages in Germany require a roster full of strong riders that can survive the climbs in order to sprint for victory. Rally Cycling will start Robin Carpenter, Matteo Dal-Cin, Adam de Vos, Brad Huff, Colin Joyce, and Emerson Oronte.
Having competed in the Deutschland Tour back in 2006 and at the WorldTour level for years, team director Pat McCarty knows the style of racing the riders can expect.
“This is certainly a step up in competition,” said McCarty. “We’ve raced against most of these riders in the States, but lining up against them in Europe is different. Our guys are up for the challenge. They just need to race their bikes like they know how to do.”
With tremendous success from breakaways at the Tour of Denmark and the Arctic Race of Norway, McCarty will be pressing the riders to go on the attack.
“We’ll race aggressively as we always try to do over here,” said McCarty. “I think we should avoid playing the same games that the biggest teams do, and look for opportunities from breakaways. We know Colin Joyce is riding extremely well and will be the leader on the road, and the entire team will be looking for opportunities in breakaways.”
The 157 km first stage to Bonn is the only true sprinter’s stage of this year’s race. With just one categorized climb on offer, the peloton is expected to remain intact on the run into the finish. “The King’s Stage” to Trier on Friday features an up-and-down course, reminiscent of the Ardennes Classics, for a total of 196 km. Five climbs greet the riders in the later part of the stage and will serve as the biggest test to the overall favorites.
Stage three to Merzig covers 177 km and passes the French border before the riders tackle two hilly circuits outside of town. With the race for the overall starting to take shape, breakaway opportunities will be abundant as the overall contenders play cat and mouse in the peloton.
The longest stage of this year’s race comes on stage four to Stuttgart. At 207 km and with a constant course direction, the winds will play a huge part in the day’s action. The final climb tops out at five km remaining and descends to the finish. Punchy climbers and general classification riders are expected to separate themselves from the pack to determine the final stage and overall winners of this year’s race.
With 11 WorldTour teams taking the start in Germany, this will be the most hotly contested race of the team’s European schedule.
Deutschland Tour Roster
Adam de Vos
Directors: Pat McCarty, Jonas Carney