The route map of the Bayern Rundfahrt 2014 was announced yesterday in Nuremberg. The most important German stage race at the moment will also come up with varied daily sections in the coming year, with the royal stage up to the Winklmoos Alm (Reit im Winkl) certainly being the highlight of the tour.
In total, the pros, 20 teams are expected to be invited, have to cover 784 kilometers and five stages on the way from the starting point in Vilshofen to the finish in Nuremberg. The successor to Adriano Malori (Lampre-Merida) will then be chosen there. Minister of State Joachim Herrmann will once again be patron of the race. Tour boss Ewald Strohmeier is full of expectations almost half a year before the start of the 35th edition of the Bayern Rundfahrt: "We are looking forward to the start of the tour with such a special backdrop."
As in previous years, the interest of the teams already seems very high. "We've already had a lot of inquiries and will definitely sign around 20 teams again", said Strohmeier about the status of the plans for 2014. Despite the parallel Giro d'Italia and the Tour of Belgium, the organizers are expecting a top line-up. “Of course we want to give German drivers the chance to show themselves in front of a home crowd. That applies to the top drivers from the big international teams as well as to the drivers from the German Continental teams.” It will therefore be interesting to see whether the MTN-Qhubeka team around Milan-San Remo winner Gerald Ciolek will be back at the start. "Perhaps Linus Gerdemann, who was also under contract with MTN-Qhubeka in 2014, will make a comeback with us.", speculates the tour boss. Gerdemann had won the overall victory in Bavaria in 2009. Since then there has not been a German winner of the yellow jersey at the Bayern Rundfahrt.
The first stage will start on May 28th on the town square in Vilshofen. From there, the pros have to cover 201,6 kilometers to Freilassing. Among other things, the peloton passes Marktl am Inn, the birthplace of Pope Benedict XVI. The route does not envisage major difficulties, so the opening stage should be a matter for the sprinters.
The predicate royal stage undoubtedly deserves the second stage. Although the section from Freilassing to Reit im Winkl is relatively short at just under 165 kilometers, the riders can expect a challenging profile with a total of 3.300 meters in altitude. After two mountain classifications in Ramsau/Hochschwarzeck and Siegsdorf/Scharam, the day's decision falls on what is probably Germany's most famous alpine pasture, the Winklmoos-Alm. The four-kilometer final ascent from Seegatterl up to the Winklmoos-Alm with a maximum gradient of 19 percent should be an opportunity for climbers: "We're really excited to see how this route profile will affect the entire course of the tour.", comments Walter Oestreich, route director of the Bayern Rundfahrt, on the route.
The third stage on May 29 starts in Grassau, where the tour stopped in 2003 and 2006. The destination of the longest section of the 233 tour, at 2014 kilometers, is the town of Neusäß near Augsburg. Neusäß also has experience as a stage town. Topographically, the stage does not present any particular difficulties after the hardships of the previous day. On the way from the Alps in the direction of Swabia, one also approaches Bavaria's state capital. Southwest of Munich, the Bavarian State Forests have given the peloton extra free travel through the Forstenrieder Park: a forest road leads four kilometers through one of the most important local recreation areas in Munich.
Wassertrüdingen am Hesselberg, which has also hosted the Deutschland Tour before, will be the scene of the 25-kilometer Akzent Invest individual time trial the next day. It can be eagerly awaited whether, after the detour to the Alps, the decision on the overall victory of the tour will again be made with the time trial this year.
In the Franconian metropolis of Nuremberg, the grand finale of the Bayern Rundfahrt will take place again on June 1st on the course of the traditional race “Around the old town of Nuremberg” discharged. "Even though we had the most adverse weather conditions in 2013 at the premiere of Nuremberg as the final venue of the Bayern Rundfahrt, Nuremberg offered a great backdrop on that day for the wearer of the yellow jersey of the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken", Rundfahrt Ewald Strohmeier praises the Franconian metropolis as the host of the Bayern Rundfahrt. The final section of the tour covers almost 160 kilometers, with the ten finish laps around Nuremberg's old town once again demanding everything from the drivers.