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CyclingQuotes.com has spoken to a few riders before they set out on the 246 km Vattenfall Cyclassics.

Photo: Sirotti

ALEX DOWSETT

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DARYL IMPEY

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EUROEYES CYCLASSICS

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IAN STANNARD

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JOHANN VAN ZYL

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MATTI BRESCHEL

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MURILO FISCHER

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ROBERT HUNTER

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TIM WELLENS

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25.08.2013 @ 14:20 Posted by Lukas Knöfler in Hamburg

While the Vuelta is underway in Spain, another WorldTour race takes place in Hamburg – the Vattenfall Cyclassics. CyclingQuotes.com has spoken to a few riders before they set out on the 246 km race that normally ends in a sprint, despite the four ascents of the Waseberg.

 

 

Saxo-Tinkoff with two leaders – All For One at Lotto-Belisol

 

“Both Daniele Bennati and myself are the protected riders today,” said Matti Breschel (Team Saxo-Tinkoff). “We’ll have to see how the race develops, and depending on which situations arise we’ll talk together and decide who we’ll ride for.”

 

Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol) would have a hard day on the bike, working for the big favourite, German champion André Greipel: “Of course we’ll ride for him today. The plan is to keep things together for the sprint, lead André [Greipel] out and hope that he can take the win.”

 

 

FDJ.fr hope for second consecutive victory, Team Sky riding for Sutton

 

The French team FDJ.fr has come to Hamburg with last year’s winner Arnaud Démare. “We have come with a strong team,” said Démare’s Brazilian teammate Murilo Fischer, “and all of us will try to help Arnaud to his second victory.”

 

Ian Stannard said that they’ll try to get Chris Sutton to the line: “Normally it’s not such a hard race, with 30-40 guys left in the end. We’ll see how CJ gets over the climbs, and how he goes in the final.”

 

Asked if he might try a late attack, Stannard was noncommittal: “Well, you come down that big road at the end, so it’s quite hard to get away. There’s a little climb at about 3 km to go that’s pretty hard, so we’ll see what happens there.”

 

 

Impey happy about South African contingent – MTN-Qhubeka hoping for Ciolek triumph

 

Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) is often the only South African at a pro race, but today there are five of them in the peloton – Impey himself, Robert Hunter (Garmin-Sharp) and MTN-Qhubeka’s Jay Thomson, Jaco Venter and Johann van Zyl.

 

“It’s quite nice to have, especially in a WorldTour race,” Impey said. “It’s been a long time coming that we’ve had so many riders on this level, so, yeah, it’s great. If it comes down to a sprint, we’ll definitely ride for Gossy [Matt Goss]; but if it’s the final is ridden hard, and a smaller group forms, I’m going to try to get in there and I’m take my own chances.”

 

Johann van Zyl is riding his first WorldTour race in Hamburg, only a week after the grueling, 12-day Volta a Portugal: “This week I took it really easy, and from Thursday I started riding a bit harder, so I hope my legs are back,” he said.

 

The MTN-Qhubeka team will ride for their German captain Gerald Ciolek: “For sure. He’s been on the podium so many times before,” said van Zyl. “Hopefully today we can make it the top step.”

 

 

Movistar with variable tactics, Hunter ‘baby-sitting’ young Garmin-Sharp team

 

Alex Dowsett is the only Briton on the Spanish-speaking Movistar Team: “It’s difficult to say what we’ll do today,” Dowsett said. “We have a few options, because we’ve got some really good climbers in Teruel and Madrazo, and with Francisco Ventoso we can be competitive in the sprint as well. We’ll see how it pans out on these last laps with the climb.”

 

Asked if his ITT prowess would be put to use by pulling the peloton all day, Dowsett laughed: “No, I won’t be doing that. I’ll do whatever the team requires of me, whether that’ll be to look after the sprinters or stay with Madrazo before the climb. I’m not sure yet, but whatever they want, I will be at their need.”

 

Robert Hunter is the oldest rider in Garmin-Sharp’s line-up, but he was confident that his young teammates could impress: “I think we have some young guys here who’ll want to make a good race, Jack Bauer for instance. For the sprint we have Steele von Hoff who’s really motivated. We’ll see how they come through in the final.”

 

 

From 15:30, you can follow the race live here.

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