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Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt Preview

Oh, you thought it was all Ardennes and Cobbles and Maglia Rosa and Mellow Johnnies around here did you? Well, I drew the short straw and get to tell you all about the Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt being run on May 1st. Here, in a nutshell is all you need to know about historic Frankfurt:

  1. Frankfurt is the ugliest city in Germany
  2. The Turkish coke dealers wear Raybans
  3. You'll get kicked out of the hostel by breaking into the kitchen through the window at 3AM.
  4. Suitcases make lousy pillows, but the grass on the banks of the Main River is surprisingly comfortable if you have nowhere else to sleep.

Join me on the umgekerteandereseiteflip...

The startlist, located here, shows the following teams towing the line...

  1. Milram (surprise!)
  2. Rabobank
  3. HTC-Columbia
  4. Katusha
  5. CCC Polsat Polkowice (obviously the Irish well represented on this team)
  6. ISD-Neri
  7. Landbouwkrediet
  8. Saur - Sojasun
  9. Eyjafjallajokull
  10. Skil-Shimano
  11. Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercato
  12. Vacansoleil
  13. Vorarlberg - Corratec

Ok, I made one of those teams up, I admit.  The others are actually racing there.  As you can imagine, some of the more elite German members of the peloton are well represented at the race, with Linus Gerdemann, Bert Grabsch, Tony Martin and Andre Greipel all showing for this baby.  Other names of note: Pippo, McEwen, and four dudes on the Polish team named "Tomasz".

Until 2008, this race was called by the far more interesting "Rund um den Henninger-Turm" with the Henninger-Turm being a giant silo used to hold grain for the Henninger Brewery, but the economy being the way it is, and Frankfurt being the banking heart of Germany, the finance industry wanted to slap you in the face even when you're watching cycling, so they changed it to "Rund um den Finanzplatz", which translates to "Tour of the place your 401k goes to die". 

Near as I can tell (map here), the race starts in Eschborn, runs into Frankfurt and then does a big loop all the way out to Kittelhütte in the north, then south to Glasshütte, does a pair of southerly loops and then heads back through Eschborn into Frankfurt, ending with four laps around the old Opera House.

Past winners of this race include Eddie Merckx, Johan Bruyneel, some guy named "Erik Zabel" and Karsten Kroooon.