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“That was a very hard day for all the riders. In these conditions it is not so much fun to ride races,“ said Ciolek commenting on the rain soaked stage. “In the last 100 meters I was missing a bit of strength. I had a bad cold up until last weekend but actually it went pretty well for me today and I am confident for the upcoming days. The team is good and we are all motivated for the next stages.“

The opening stage was marked by bad weather conditions with constant rain, cold and wind. Eight kilometers after the start in Pfaffenhofen a group of four riders got away and stayed away most of the day. The three German’s Grischa Janorschke (Nutrixxion Abus), Henning Bommel (rad-net Rose Team) and Alexander Grad (Heizomat), together with Spaniard Javier Megias Leal (Team Novo Nordisk) quickly built up a lead of nearly 11 minutes.

After about 100 kilometers, the peloton got serious with its chase. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung worked together with ProTeams Sky, Blanco and FDJ at the head of the field to organise the chase. The gap had fallen to 3’50“ with 40 km to go, and had fallen to under one minute as they crossed the finish line for the first time. The escape came to an end at the 5 kilometer marker and the teams of the favourites started lining up for the expected mass sprint.

The second stage on Thursday runs 194.5 kilometers between Mühldorf am Inn and Viechtach. After 123 kilometers the riders will face the famous 895 meter high Sank Englmar climb (category one).

The 34th Bayern Rundfahrt runs over five stages and 785,4 kilometers from Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm in the Hallertau over the Bavarian forest to Nürnberg.

Race information: www.bayern-rundfahrt.com

Intern. Bayern-Rundfahrt (Germany) – (May 22-26 / UCI 2.HC): Andreas Stauff (GER), Gerald Ciolek (GER), Jay Thomson (RSA), Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU), Martin Reimer (GER), Meron Russom (ERI), Sergio Pardilla (ESP)

Staff: Jens Zemke (Directeur Sportif), Kevin Campbell (Directeur Sportif), Bastian Büffel (Soigneur), Olaf Warko (Soigneur), Hagen Bernutz (Soigneur), Daniele Nieri (Mechanic), Heiko Heinrici (Mechanic), Francesco Bonnini (Bus Driver)