20 teams, 120 riders and numerous top names will be at the starting line on Wednesday (August 23, 2023) when the Deutschland Tour begins with the prologue in St. Wendel. The favorites include not only two Germans, but also two stage winners of this year’s Tour de France.
The Germany Tour 2023 leads over 732 kilometers through the west of the country. It begins in the Saarland and runs via stops in Kassel and Essen to the Weser in Bremen. While there is no classic mountain finish this time, the organizers are focusing on short and crisp climbs, which should make the classic specialists in the peloton particularly happy. In addition to some well-known drivers such as Pello Bilbao, Mads Pedersen or Sam Bennett, the German top stars around Nils Politt and Georg Zimmermann are also at the start.
Nils Politt (BORA – hansgrohe)
As the overall winner of the Deutschland Tour 2021, Nils Politt should of course not be missing from the list of favourites. The man from Cologne is still at the start for the German World Team Bora – hansgrohe, but from next season he will be driving for the UAE team led by cycling superstar Tadej Pogacar. Especially in the prologue through the old town in St. Wendel, the current German time trial champion can do a lot; last year, Politt missed victory by just a few seconds. But the remaining stages should also suit the classic specialist.
Most recently, Politt had to admit defeat in the final sprint at the Hamburg Cyclassics and ended up in eighth place. The 29-year-old finished this year’s Tour de France in 62nd place, but was there mainly as an assistant to captain Jai Hindley. An annoying defect on the 19th stage prevented the chance of winning the stage.
Pello Bilbao (Bahrain – Victorious)
With Pello Bilbao, the overall second from last year returns to the Germany Tour. At that time, the rider from Team Bahrain – Victorious only had to give way to Adam Yates, but was able to win the fourth and final stage. As a mountain specialist with sprint qualities, Bilbao should like this year’s route profile with its crisp climbs.
The Spaniard has had a good season so far. The highlight was certainly winning the tenth stage of the Tour de France, when Bilbao was able to beat the German Georg Zimmermann in the final sprint. In the end there was sixth place in the overall standings – the best result so far in the Tour of France for the 33-year-old.
Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché – Circus – Wanty)
This year, the young German finally made his breakthrough to the extended world elite. And so it’s not surprising that Georg Zimmermann is one of the favorites for a podium finish on the Deutschland Tour this year. In particular, his excellent performance in the Tour de France, when he narrowly missed victory on the tenth stage, brought him a lot of attention. Before that, the 25-year-old had already won the stage of the Dauphiné Tour.
After the tour, he fell into a hole and was very exhausted, Zimmermann told the dpa news agency. But now he has recovered. The fact that the climbing specialist is one of the extended favorites is also due to his fourth overall place last year; at that time, Zimmermann also secured the jersey of the best young driver.
Mads Pedersen (Lidl – Trek)
The Dane from the Lidl – Trek team loves the one-day races and classics, which makes him the right choice for this year’s Deutschland Tour. Mads Pedersen has arrived with victory at the Hamburg Cyclassics and the Tour of Denmark. But the 27-year-old was also able to impress in the Grand Tours this season: Second place behind Jasper Philipsen in the sprint classification plus a stage win are in France.
He was also able to win a stage at the Giro D’Italia before abandoning the race. He achieved what only a few professional cyclists can do, namely a stage success in all three Grand Tours. In 2019 he was already world champion on the road.
Ackermann and Bauhaus good for sprint victory
The German sprinters Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates) and Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain – Victorious) have less chance of overall success, but they do have a day win. Both have already proven that several times this season. Ackermann was able to celebrate a stage win in the Giro D’Italia, while Bauhaus made it onto the podium three times in the Tour de France.
Bauhaus in particular still has a score to settle with the Deutschland Tour, as it has often been second in stages. Unlike Ackermann, who was already successful in 2019 and 2021 and even finished second overall two years ago.