German cycling fans had to be patient: it took almost 700 days before international men’s pro cycling returns to Germany’s streets. A prominent provisional start list for the Deutschland Tour is the reward for the long waiting time. From August 26, 132 riders will fight for stage wins and the overall victory of the Deutschland Tour 2021 on the way from Stralsund to Nuremberg.
Ackermann, Bauhaus, Degenkolb, Greipel, Zabel – the names of the riders who line-up in Stralsund reads like the who’s who of the German sprint. Even if the motivation in their home race is particularly high, the German stars do not stay among themselves. They face the likes of Mark Cavendish and Alexander Kristoff, among others. With his four stage wins at this year’s Tour de France, Cavendish has achieved a true masterpiece. During the last Deutschland Tour, Kristoff once again showed how much he loves winning in Germany.
Two Germans among the top favourites
Politt vs. Degenkolb – from a German perspective that could be the showdown for the red jersey. Nils Politt returns to racing after the Tour de France. Three years ago, he celebrated the long-awaited first pro win at the final stage of the Deutschland Tour in Stuttgart – but the overall victory was short of 3 seconds. This year, his stage win at the Tour de France might give the tailwind to secure the red jersey.
The route profile also suits John Degenkolb, who rides for the German national team. For the 32-year-old, the Deutschland Tour 2021 is a very personal matter: the GC is made on the classic stages in Thuringia and Franconia – the two regions in which the Monument winner grew up. Above all, the grand finale in Nuremberg is full of souvenirs for Degenkolb: He won here in 2015 and made history as the last stage winner of the Tour of Bavaria.
Tour de France names in Germany
In addition to sprinters and classic specialists, the Deutschland Tour will also be a meeting of prominent stage race riders. Emanuel Buchmann is coming back to the only German stage race this year. With Ben O’Connor and Peio Bilbao, the fourth and ninth places in the Tour de France are just as much in the line-up as João Almeida, who has just won the Tour de Pologne with an impressive performance. The Deutschland Tour will also be a racing comeback for the four-time winner of the Tour de France, Chris Froome. And it’s a very special kind of comeback: for the first time since the Grand Depart of the Tour de France 2017 in Düsseldorf, the Briton is back in Germany.
German offspring among big names
The Deutschland Tour is also a springboard for local talent. The entire current Bundesliga podium with Jon Knolle, Dominik Bauer and U23 champion Kim Heiduk is announced. In addition, Felix Gross celebrates the career leap into the WorldTour on the Deutschland Tour and ride the first race for his new team.