“For our team and for me, this is the most important race in Germany. The motivation is huge and once again we have the chance to present ourselves in direct comparison to the international competition in the WorldTour,“ Ciolek said. “The race looks like it should be good for me – you can see that from my podium places the last years. When everything works out, then we can be at the very front in Hamburg. That is our goal!“
Ciolek has been on the race’s podium three times. In 2007 and 2009, he was third. In 2011 he achieved second place thanks to the tactical help of then-QuickStep colleague Andreas Stauff. Ciolek’s friend and training partner is also in the line-up this year for the African team and will again do his all to support his captain.
“The race in Hamburg is another big highlight for our riders,“ said Jens Zemke, sports director. “We are giving Gerald a good and experienced team to support him in Hamburg. Everyone is highly motivated and wants the success. Gerald and his German teammates Andreas Stauff and Martin Reimer are eager to do well in front of their home public. So we will certainly try to have a word to say about the finale in this long race.“
In addition to Ciolek, Stauff and Reimer, Zemke will look in Hamburg to South African Champion Jay Thomson and his countrymen Jaco Venter and Johann van Zyl. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will be further strengthened by Lithuanian time trial champion Ignatas Konovalovas and Algerian Youcef Reguigui.
“The forecasted weather conditions (13-23deg, no rain) will be a welcomed relief to our athletes who suffered in the extreme heat last week at Volta Portugal.” says Dr Carol Austin, director of health and performance. “The team lineup features our athletes from Germany and African with the best possible experience, depth and current form to produce a result”.
The classic in Hamburg is Germany’s longest one-day race, at 246 kilometers. Ciolek and Co. will come up against some strong rivals at the race along the Elbe River.
Race information: www.vattenfall-cyclassics.de
Vattenfall Cyclassics Hamburg (Germany) – (August 25 / UCI World Tour): Andreas Stauff (GER), Gerald Ciolek (GER), Jay Thomson (RSA), Martin Reimer (GER), Jaco Venter (RSA), Johann van Zyl (RSA), Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU), Youcef Reguigui (ALG)
Staff: Jens Zemke (Directeur Sportif), Bastian Büffel (Soigneur), Olaf Warko (Soigneur), Hagen Bernutz (Soigneur), Heiko Heinrici (Mechanic), Werner Lenk (Mechanic)