• Alexander Kristoff will be searching for a third victory at Eschborn-Frankfurt. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
The long-running Eschborn-Frankfurt race is now a UCI WorldTour event and SBS will be broadcasting it live on 1 May.
Cycling Central

25 Apr 2017 - 7:16 AM  UPDATED 26 Apr 2017 - 9:34 AM

If you like sprinting then the 56th Eschborn-Frankfurt is the race for you, featuring many of the best riders in that discipline as a result of its recent elevation to WorldTour status.

Headlining is world champion Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe), but the German sprinters, Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) and Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) will be obvious threats on home ground.

Degenkolb was the last German rider to win Eschborn-Frankfurt (2011), with Katusha-Alpecin’s Alexander Kristoff taking out the last two editions and motivated for a third consecutive win.

Sagan will be coming off a three-week break after a mixed classics campaign and will use the race to restart his next phase of WorldTour racing which includes the Amgen Tour of California, Tour de Suisse and Tour de France.

His BORA-hansgrohe team is a German so the pressure will be on to deliver a result.

“For sure it will be special for the whole team, but also for myself, to race in front of our German fans,” Sagan said.

“I hope it will be a big cycling party, but this will only be the first cycling party this year because we also have the [Tour de France] Grand Depart in Düsseldorf ahead of us.

“For sure we will have a strong line-up and several cards to play. The only thing important is, that one of our team can fight for the win in the end in front of our home crowd."

While Eschborn-Frankfurt is traditionally a race for sprinters, there is also enough there to tempt the breakaway specialists.

Covering 215.7km and with repeated climbing adding up to 2,210 metres, the race is far from easy. The temptation for the non-sprinters is the Mammolshain climb (200m long at 23 per cent) which will be repeated four times and with the last coming 30km from the finish.

If the flow of the race follows the trend of other one-day races held this season, the real battle could start a long way from the finish.

Riders such as local star Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin), Oliver Naesen (AG2R), Jasper Stuyven (Trek–Segafredo) or even Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale–Drapac) could get the jump on the sprinters with a well-organised breakaway.

If as expected the race does come down to a mass sprint, Australia’s Michael Matthews (Sunweb), Sam Benett (BORA-hansgrohe), Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors will be among the riders to watch alongside the trio of German sprinters and the world champion.