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EuroEyes Cyclassics
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Written by Wicky (2005-03-01 00:00)
Translated by DZI (2006-02-09 00:00:00)

The HEW Cyclassics doesn’t have that much of a history. Still, it has elevated itself in a short period of time from a regional cityride to an international race, part of the ProTour.

In 1995 the HEW Cyclassics starts off as a ride on a circuit right through Hamburg for anyone posessing a bycicle. In this way Hamburg tries to position itself as a cyclingcity. The actual professional race sees first daylight in 1996. In this inaugural professional race, Team Polti’s Italian rider Rossano Brasi walks away with the flowers after the win.
Quite important for this race, Jan Ullrich is theTour the France victor in 1997. After his overall championship in France, Ullrich is the center of attention in Germany, so he is the main rider that draws in all the crowds at the start of this formerly 1.5 UCI graded race. After a solo escape from the peloton he manages to win the 1998 edition and gets the Cyclassics a hughe amount of attention.

So the international cyclingcommunity is suddenly noticing this particular race. The UCI lends a helping hand and upgrades the HEW Cyclassics to a Worldcup event the following year. The Worldcup was held over 10 races spread out over all of Europe. The HEW Cyclassics would be the 10th worldcup race replacing the Rochester Classic which was formerly held in England.

Yet despite all promotion of this race and its international startlist, the race isn’t one that really speaks to mind to riders and fans. Most riders think that the parcours isn’t selective enough, so in fact in favour of a sprinter in a mass-sprint. To solve this problem, the Waseberg is included being the only qualified climb in the race. The Köhlbrandbrücke (a bridge) does have a gradient, but the Waseberg is the only real climb with a gradient up to fifteen percent. To further solve this problem, the peloton has to cross it four times, the last time bringing them to the Mönckebergstrasse where the finish line is drawn.

Despite the short history and lack of appreciation for which the race is known, it’s already got some pretty big names on the leaderboard. For instance: Stuart O’Grady, Erik Zabel, Paolo Bettini and Johan Museeuw are former winners. Any other race would be proud of these victors on their palmares!
The Cyclassics is raced on the first Sunday in august. Traditionally, riders who’ve done well in the Tour de France, will most likely do well here.

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