The Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) has announced plans to revive the Tour of Germany (Deutschland Tour), sometime over the next two year’s.
After almost a ten-year hiatus, ASO and the German Cycling Federation (BRD) are teaming up to revive the German Grand Tour in what they’re calling a “groundbreaking partnership to once again promote cycling in Germany.”
The Tour of Germany was brought to a close in 2008, after running continuously since it was first held in 1911.
Many attributed this decision to the tarnished image pro cycling had received in the wake of ongoing doping scandals. However, pro cycling has experienced somewhat of a renaissance in Germany over the last few years, with a wave of new German riders such as Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb, once again restoring dignity to the once beloved sport.
ASO says they see a potential for huge growth in Germany, particularly in light of the fact that Dusseldorf will play host the 2017 Tour de France Grand Depart.
“ASO and the BDR, eager to support cycling’s expansion [in Germany], have signed a long-term agreement to revive the Deutschland Tour and establish it as a top event over a ten-year horizon,” read a statement from the two bodies. “Both partners are aiming to put the Deutschland Tour back on the calendar over the coming two years, as soon as all the key assets for a great stage race and a top-notch organisation are put in place.”
“The route will be designed to “play to the strengths of German riders” with sprints and Classics-flavored stages intended to showcase the home talent. The event also aims to act as a “springboard for the biggest German talents, including the next generation of Grand Tour riders”, said ASO.
“This is a pivotal agreement for the BDR. The new Deutschland Tour will help spread the love of cycling in Germany and increase the popularity of all its facets,” said the federation’s president Rudolf Scharping. “27 million Germans already ride their bicycles regularly, and many German cities have recognised the importance of cycling in their mobility strategies. This is why the Deutschland Tour will not only be a pure sporting event, but a huge celebration of cycling.”
“We share with the BDR the goal to make the Deutschland Tour attractive to wide swathes of the population and use the race to show them just how much fun cycling can be,” said ASO General Manager Yann Le Moënner.
“As well as the elite competition, featuring the biggest champions from Germany and abroad, we will include rides for the thousands of dedicated amateurs and draw up an exciting programme for the fans and the wider public in the host cities.”
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