While some of the world best climbers begin three weeks of intense racing at the Vuelta a Espana, many big-name sprinters and classics riders will be in Hamburg, Germany on Sunday August 25 for the one-day Vattenfall Cyclassics race.
The race is one of the UCI WorldTour modern Classics. It was created in 1996 and has grown and developed constantly since then, proving to an ideal way of celebrating everything that is good about cycling.
22,000 riders take part in a mass ride around much of the finishing circuit used by the Elite racers and then they get to enjoy the thrilling finish of the race in the centre of Hamburg with other entertainment and a huge cycling expo.
The Elite race covers a total of distance of 246km, with a loop south of the city forming the first part of the race, before returning to the city for several laps of the finishing circuit that includes the short but steep Waseberg climb up from the river Elbe.
The climb is perfect for launching attacks and usually splits the peloton but the fast roads to the finish often inspire a high-speed pursuit. Lone winners have managed to hold off the sprinters and their hard working team but more often than not, the fast men manage to fight it out for victory.
Can Demare win again?
Last year French sprinter Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr) won the first UCI WorldTour race of his career, beating Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Nissan) in the high-speed sprint.
Demare has gone on to prove his huge talent by winning eight races in 2013. He recently used his sprinting skills to win the new RideLondon- Surrey Classic event in central London and took a stage of the recent Eneco Tour. Those results prove he is on form and ready to target a second consecutive victory.
Demare will wear race number one as defending champion but will face major competition from some of the best sprinters and classics riders in the UCI WorldTour.
Andre Greipel will be looking for victory at home in Germany and he showed he is ready by winning a stage at the Eneco Tour. Nizzolo leads Radioshack-Leopard, while other sprinters include Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Movistar), Enrico Gasparotto (Astana), Daniele Bennati (Saxo- Tinkoff), Alessandro Petacchi (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) â€“who continues his return to racing.
The BMC team is expected to field the fast trio of Thor Hushovd, Taylor Phinney and Adam Blythe, while Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge), Elia Viviani (Cannondale), Gerald Ciolek (MTN Qhubeka) and John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) and Roberto Ferrari (Lampre-Merida) are other candidates for a sprint victory.
Some riders may try to surprise the sprinters with late attacks.
Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) showed he is on form by winning the Coppa Agostoni in Italy this week, while Phinney used his speed and power to hold off the peloton at the Tour of Poland.
We will see who comes out on top on Sunday afternoon.