The one-day WorldTour event - formerly known as HEW Cyclassics - takes place around the streets of Hamburg in front of a packed crowd expected to be in the region of 800,000.
The race is somewhat unique in being part of a day-long festival of cycling, with amateur riders encouraged to compete on various laps of the course, with 22,000 participants expected to take to the streets before the main event.
The 217km course is identical to last season and maintains the southern loop which was run in an anti-clockwise direction in 2011.
With so much of the course built around the amateur races that precede the main event, the riders lap the different circuits before returning to the finish to duke it out for the victory.
Two large loops kick off the day, with the peloton rolling out of the start and heading east along the river before taking on the new southern loop.
The race never strays too far from the centre of Hamburg, with short, sharp climbs the only real obstacles to a peloton that arrive in Germany fully expecting a bunch sprint.
The race concludes with four circuits which each take in the Waseberg climb, which despite being just 700 metres in length, packs an average gradient of 10% and a final kick of 16% that could momentarily spread out the field.
A number of attackers will try to break free, but with a list of winners that reads like a who’s who of sprinters and strong men, it would be a surprise to see a non-sprinter top the podium when all is said and done.
Team Sky history
Edvald Boasson Hagen returns to Hamburg with the number one on his back following victory in 2011. The Norwegian pulled out an impressive sprint to take the title, improving on his previous best which was second in 2010.