The route change at Eschborn-Frankfurt achieved exactly what it was supposed to: suspense right up to the absolute finale. Because even five kilometers before the end it was not clear whether the peloton could close the small gap to the escapees. But it should be enough for the group! After there was already a Danish double victory in the U23 cycling classic, a Dane also prevailed in the WorldTour pros. Søren Kragh Andersen (Alpecin - Deceuninck) won in the sprint ahead of Patrick Konrad (Bora - hansgrohe) and Alessandro Fedeli (Q36.5 Pro Cycling). Georg Steinhauser (EF Education - EasyPost) and Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché - Circus - Wanty) finished sixth and seventh as the best Germans.
In front of an impressive backdrop, Max Walscheid (Cofidis) opened the race shortly after the sharp start and formed a leading group with five other riders, who were given a maximum lead of eight minutes. In mostly dry conditions, fans and spectators along the route between Eschborn, the Taunus communities and Frankfurt created a record-breaking cycling classic atmosphere.
Although the lead of the leading group had already shrunk considerably after the first Feldberg crossing, the riders still made it over the first two Mammolshain mountain classifications, only to be dropped on the approach to the second Feldberg. For Walscheid it was still enough to win the overall mountain classification. After the second Feldberg climb, about 30 riders broke away from the peloton, with only Michael Matthews (Team Jayco Alula) among the fast riders. Accordingly, the group did not run smoothly and was placed 52 kilometers before the finish. At the last Mammolshain branch, a leading group formed again, which included ten riders. Zimmermann and Steinhauser were among them, as were Konrad and the Swiss Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates).
The group reached Frankfurt with a lead of about a minute, but they entered the final lap with only 20 seconds left. Behind them, a reduced peloton of about 30 riders chased them. In the last two kilometers Zimmermann tried again with an attack, but could not break away decisively. Then came Kragh Andersen and drove the sprint home confidently from the front for a long time. Arnaud De Lie led the peloton to the finish 18 seconds behind.
Søren Kragh Andersen: "In the end there was more climbing than I had expected. I really suffered on the second Feldberg crossing. But I never gave up and so the race ended perfectly for me in the group. The victory means a lot to me because I haven't won in a long time."
Patrick Konrad: "It was a very exciting seconds thriller. It was primarily my plan to get through with the group and accordingly I then invested a lot. I knew that Søren was the man to beat. At the moment when I came up to his height in the sprint, it also looked good.
Alessandro Fedeli (Q36.5 Pro Cycling): "This is my best result in the WorldTour. That's why I'm overjoyed, of course. I want to thank the organization for the fantastic race, there were no risky sections anywhere, the roads were good. I'm also happy for the team, because we want to build on this success now."
Local hero John Degenkolb (Team DSM) on his home race: "I really suffered. As expected, the character of the race was different than usual, even if you didn't see that in the start list. I had to drive in the red zone for a very long time, but I noticed that the others were not doing well either and that the mountains had left their mark. It wasn't completely hopeless, but I was also close to completely blowing up. But that's where the home advantage comes in: I know every bend, always know how steep it is. The support was phenomenal. It's awesome to have a home race like this."