Road Cycling News from Chain Reaction Cycles
- Published on Monday, 20 August 2012 15:37
- Written by Chris McGrath
A stand out event on the cycling calendar, it's a must whether you're watching or riding. Read on for our weekend report.
CRC’s Events Team are just back from the Vattenfall Cyclassics, a huge celebration of cycling in Hamburg, Germany, encompassing a massive expo area and a number of amateur and professional races. It’s one of Europe’s most hard-fought races, with the world’s elite sprinters battling it out for racing glory, as Chris McGrath reports:
We were met with glorious sunshine and blue skies in Hamburg on Friday which, according to the locals, only came for the Cyclassics weekend.
The crowds began to gather very early in the expo area and the heat grew along with the atmosphere at the event. This was our first year at the event and it became clear very quickly that the city of Hamburg transforms into a road cycling Mecca for the weekend, with over 200,000 in attendance.
Saturday morning saw the temperature rise yet again, and although we didn’t know at the time the temperature gauge was set to rise even further (although we certainly didn’t complain)!
The first of the racing action took place with the Youngclassics, featuring some of the best 'up and coming' young road riders cheered on by thousands of people in the heart of the city. With the heat building, the young riders worked hard putting on a great race for those watching and building up the enthusiasm of the crowds that had gathered.
Sunday came and the main event of the wekeend arrived. The Vattenfall Cyclassics 2012 was underway! It was an early start for both the 55km and 155km rides, at 7am and 7.35am respectively. Not a bad thing with it being the hottest day in German records this year, with temperatures soaring towards 40 degrees around midday.
The crowds were more than impressive, they were breathtaking. It’s not every day you see 22,000 riders taking part in one of Europe’s largest cycle events. The crowd really gave the amateurs great support, with the same number of supporters cheering on both amatuers and pro's alike. One of the unique and great aspects of the Vattenfall Cyclassics is that anyone can enter and experience the same atmosphere as Team Sky and Garmin Cervelo riders. An experience you will never forget, everyone gets their chance to experience this amazing 'Pro' event - gaining 15 minutes of fame beside some of the biggest names in world road racing.
Once the amateur rides had finish it came the turn of the professional teams and riders to fight it out in the searing heat. The ride left the city of Hamburg to the outskirts and further afield for the 252km race, but the atmosphere in the city didn’t drop one bit. The commentators kept the crowd of over 200,000 informed and entertained throughout the day while the group of nearly 200 professional riders set off. Famed for its' sprint finish The Vattenfall Cyclassics ends with three laps of a circuit in the heart of Hamberg. On the third lap all the big names were up there, with home favourite Andre Greipel in the mix for a strong finish. In the midst of the action on the final straight there was a huge crash near the front, shaking a few people up.
But Frenchman Arnaud Demare kept his concentration and more importantly his legs turning to charge to the finish line in first place, with Andre Greipel behind in second and Itailian rider Giacomo Nizzolo finishing a solid third. The atmosphere was unreal at the finish, with the whole city of Hamburg standing still to take it in.
Vattenfall Cyclassics is an event that CRC will definitely be back at. It’s a stand out event on the cycling calendar and one that comes highly recommended. With perfect weather, perfect riding, and an atmosphere to rival any road event in Europe, it’s a must whether you go to ride or spectate.
Next on the road race calendar for CRC is the Tour of Britain. Stay tuned this week for your chance to win a VIP day out at the UK's Premier Raod Race courtesy of CRC.