Knees wins German Championships for favored Milram team
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Knees wins German Championships for favored Milram team

by Bjorn Haake at 1:32 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, National Championships
 
Late attack gives him solo win on hot day

Christian Knees attacked his three-man break with a little less than one 10km lap to go to become German road Champion for the first time in his career. In the sprint for second place, Steffen Radochla beat Andreas Schillinger. The trio had escaped with a little more than 20km to go from a nine-man move.

On a very hot and humid day, liquids and timing efforts were crucial. Knees was worried about the weather conditions. "In the last 50 kilometers I was very much afraid that I would have cramps." There was constant attacking in the decisive nine-man group, but when the podium finishers went, things still weren't easy for Knees. "It was really hard in the three-man lead group. My thanks go to the whole team."

Milram wanted the title badly, being the only German ProTour team left in the racing circuit. "We had everything under control. Near the end, Markus Fothen helped a lot. In the finale, I didn't want to let it come to a sprint and made the decisive attack," Knees said about his move shortly after the final lap had started.

The race was 194km long, shortened by one lap to not clash with the beginning of the World Cup soccer match Germany-England. The start was also moved up, but the riders still had to deal with the temperatures in the afternoon.

Milram's directeur sportif, Ralf Grabsch, had given the team an aggressive tactic to follow. "We made the race hard from the very start, were in every escape group, and had everything under control. Our offensive tactics took effect halfway through the race. That is a well-earned win."

Tony Martin, the new time trial champion, outsprinted Dominic Klemme for fourth place. Klemme tried hard to bridge, but started to have cramps and needed to ease off.

Lots of attacks after a quarter of the race

The first five laps saw a few attacks, but it wasn't until Roger Kluge (Milram), Frank Dreßler-Lehnhof (Continental Cyclingteam CCI Differdange) and Michael Schweizer (Team Nutrixxion Sparkasse) escaped after 50km that things started to heat up. They were joined by Johannes Fröhlinger (Milram), Marcel Sieberg (HTC Columbia), Philipp Mamos (Team Nutrixxion Sparkasse) and Tobias Erler (Tabriz Petrochemical).

After attacks and counters, 22 riders were on the front in lap nine, but the group swelled to 38 riders in a little more than a lap. In lap 13, a group of five, with time trial champion Tony Martin, Markus Eichler, Andreas Schillinger, Frank Dreßler-Lehnhof and Steffen Radochla had 19 seconds on the large 32-rider chase group.

Knees was able to move up to the front in this lap, which turned out to be crucial. Three more riders, Markus Fothen, Dominic Klemme and Christoph Pfingsten, moved up as well to make it nine on the front. After 150km, the gap was almost two minutes to the main field.

With a little more than 20km to go, Schillinger and Knees attacked the group, with Radochla also tagging on. Markus Fothen tried in vain to bridge, leaving the three front runners to decide who would get which medal.

Results

1. Christian Knees (Team Milram)
2. Steffen Radochla (Team Nutrixxion Sparkasse)
3. Andreas Schillinger (Team NetApp)
4. Tony Martin (Team HTC Columbia)
5. Dominic Klemme (Saxobank)
6. Markus Eichler (Team Milram)
7. Markus Fothen (Team Milram)
8. Frank Dreßler-Lehnhof (Continental Cyclingteam CCI Differdange)
9. Christoph Pfingsten (Van Vliet EBH Elshof)
10. David Hesselbarth (Team Heizomat)
11. Danilo Hondo (Lampre-Farnese Vini)
12. Andreas Klier (Cervelo Test Team)
13. Fabian Wegmann (Team Milram)
14. Sebastian Forke (Team Nutrixxion Sparkasse)
15. Michael Schweizer (Team Nutrixxion Sparkasse)

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