Today the Rund um Koln gets underway. The German single day UCI race is an event that Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung has been a part of since our team turned professional in 2013. This year our African team will take to the start with the hope of improving on Gerald Ciolek’s 3rd place last year.
At 196km in length the UCI 1.1 race will take riders through the many undulating hills just outside of Cologne before riders enter the city center for 5 laps of the finishing 6.6km circuit. The circuit finish always lends itself to a big bunch sprint, as was the case last year. The undulations in the country side can also have an effect on the race though, in 2013 a large breakaway of 15 riders got to the circuit 5 minutes before the peloton to decide the stage.
The Rund um Koln is the hometown race of Gerald Ciolek and Andreas Stauff, both our German stars will be on the starting line today. Joining Gerald and Andy will be Matt Goss, Youcef Reguigui, Jay Thomson, Adrien Niyonshuti, Natnael Berhane and Nic Dougall.
Last year it took a photo-finish to place Gerald in 3rd position, a story of so close yet so far. It has been a childhood dream of Gerald’s to win this home race of his and so MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will set out today with that as the goal in mind.