RBA/AFP – The Tour of Germany is being relaunched this year after a ten-year hiatus, it was announced Friday.
The organisers of the Tour de France, ASO, have planned four stages from Koblenz via Bonn to Stuttgart over a total of 743km (461 miles) from August 23 to 26.
Just four weeks after the end of the Tour de France, the ‘Deutschland Tour’ hopes to bring cycling in from the cold in Germany. “I see it as a starting signal for a tour that can become very big again – even on the international racing calendar,” said Germany’s time-trial expert Tony Martin.
The race was last held in 2008, but was scrapped after widespread disillusion and outrage after a series of doping scandals damaged the sport’s image in a country that had been enthusiastic about cycling.
Organizers hope to cash in on renewed interest in cycling in Germany. “We started with a clean sheet, now the heart is set, it’s starting to throb – Germany has earned a stage race,” said Claude Rach, head of ASO in Germany.