Giro and Tour stage winner Lennard Kämna succeeds serial winner Tony Martin as German champion in the individual time trial of professional cyclists. The 25-year-old is quite surprised about his victory. In the women's category, the winner falls in the last corner, a 22-year-old towers above the elite.
A non-functioning transponder left Lennard Kämna in the Sauerland in the dark about his victory. But a little later, the 25-year-old professional cyclist was certain that he had won the German championship title in the individual time trial for the first time in his career. "I was a bit surprised when I crossed the finish line. At first I thought I had screwed up, so I'm all the happier now," said Kämna.
The 25-year-old Bora-hansgrohe professional prevailed on Friday on the demanding 27.5-kilometer course with start and finish in Marsberg in a time of 35:31 minutes, 15 seconds ahead of Jannik Steimle. Third place went to Kämna's teammate Nils Politt, 24 seconds back.
"The strongest won today. I'm not disappointed with second place," said Steimle. "I'm super happy that it worked. It's very important to me to win this title," said Kämna, who already won a stage at the Giro d'Italia this year and the Tour de France in 2020. Kämna is the successor to Tony Martin, who has won the title ten times since 2010 - nine of them in a row.
There will also be a new title holder in the road race on Sunday because last year's winner Maximilian Schachmann will not start due to a corona infection. The course leads over 189 demanding kilometers from Arnsberg-Neheim to the Kahler Asten at an altitude of 838 meters. Here, too, Kämna could strike again in the absence of his teammate Schachmann. "Of course we want to defend the jersey, but of course it won't be easy," said Kämna.
Despite strong form and the title in the time trial behind him, victory in the road race is anything but a sure-fire success for Kämna. When asked whether the 25-year-old Bora-hansgrohe professional saw himself as a favorite on Sunday after his victory in the fight against the clock, Kämna replied: "Nope! I will definitely be one of the favourites, but there are still many other strong drivers. I will approach it with a lot of respect." It is still unclear whether Kämna will start the 109th Tour de France on July 1 in the Danish capital Copenhagen.
As in the previous year, Lisa Brennauer secured the women's title. The 34-year-old prevailed on the same course in a time of 42:23 minutes with a 14-second lead over Lisa Klein. Third was Hannah Ludwig, 25 seconds behind. Brennauer fell shortly before the finish in the last corner, but still crossed the finish line on foot with her bike in her hands. "I'm just too fast in the last corner. I thought that was it now," said Brennauer after her fifth national title in the fight against the clock.
Ricarda Bauernfeind won the title in the women's U23 race, which was held for the first time. With a time of 42:04 minutes, the 22-year-old was even 19 seconds faster than elite winner Brennauer.