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Packed Startlist for Vattenfalls

Finally, we have a complete startlist for Sunday's Vattenfalls Classic. Won last year by Tyler Farrar, the race is winnable by classics guys (Ballan, Pozzato) but is pretty much a sprinters' race, even after the organization inserted the Waseberg, a 300-meter climb peaking out at 15% that is traversed three times. So it's hard to say much more than wait for the sprint (except when you don't need to).

Which leaves the startlist. Pretty much everyone but Mark Cavendish and the Cervelos (Hushovd, Bos) is here. Farrar is back, Andre Greipel is returning for the showdown that didn't materialize last year, and Alessandro Petacchi will make things extremely interesting. Peter Sagan will terrorize everyone. Then there are the usual suspects: JJ Haedo, JJ Rojas Gil, Wouter Weylandt, Gerald Ciolek, Allan Davis, Robbie McEwen, Gert Steegmans, and Koldo Fernandez. And some outsiders like Daryl Impey, Lars Boom and the other classics dudes like Matti Breschel.

The Netherlands-Germany Worlds qualification matchup stands as follows: NL trails Luxembourg by 5 and leads Germany by 38 points. UCI points on the line are:

  1. 80
  2. 60
  3. 50
  4. 40
  5. 30
  6. 22
  7. 15
  8. 10
  9. 6
  10. 2

Germany needs one guy in the top four to pass the Netherlands and gain a full squad for the Worlds, or two guys in the top 9 in various combinations exceeding 35. Basically, Greipel can't miss the finale again, or Ciolek has to move up. It won't be easy, with the sprinters' peloton gearing up for the late summer and fall races like we haven't seen in a few years. And all so they can lose to Cavendish in Geelong...

[Update] Full UCI rankings HERE. Check the Nations tab. h/t Andrew P for pointing out that Slovenia could top everyone for that tenth spot with a good result from Borut Bozic.