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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary

I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him. - Booker T. Washington

Düsseldorf to host the Grand Départ of the 2017 Tour de France

30 years after West Berlin (1987), the Tour de France peloton will again set off from Germany as it launches the 104th edition of the race. In 2017 Düsseldorf will host the 22nd Grand Départ outside French borders. This will be the fourth time that the Tour de France gets going in Germany.

All the details on the Grand Départ in Düsseldorf will be revealed at a press conference held on January 14 at two venues: first in Paris and then in Düsseldorf.

2016 Bayern Rundfahrt cancelled

I hate to post this sad news. The 2016 Bayern Rundfaht (Tour of Bavaria) has been cancelled. The organizers had a self-imposed deadline of December 20 to close their 300,000 Euro budget shortfall. They could not find the money by the 20th and in consideration of the racers, stage towns and others who need to make plans, the race has been cancelled.

Race boss Ewald Strohmeier said, "The current situation with a budget gap of around 300,000 Euros left us no other choice at this point. With a responsibility to our partners, with particular respect to the stage towns and the teams that need to make reliable plans for the coming year, we had to make the decision now. "

John Degenkolb

John Degenkolb winning stage 5 of the 2015 Tour of Bavaria

But, you can't keep a good man down. Strohmeier is already looking to 2017. "The aim is, in 2016, to lay the foundations so that in 2017 the so-far successful history of the Tour of Bavaria can be updated. There will be no interruption to our efforts. We are now concentrating fully on 2017."

The race dates back to 1980, when it was for amateurs. In 1998 it became a professional race and since 2005 the Tour of Bavaria has been an "HC"-ranked competition. To the best of my knowledge, this leaves Germany without a professional stage race.

2016 Tirreno-Adriatico route presented

While the Tour of Bavaria was being cancelled, RCS Sport presented the route of the 2016 Tirrreno-Adriatico, to be held March 9 - March 15. Keeping with recent editions, this 51st edition will be 1,019.9 kilometers. The race will start three days after Paris-Nice.

Here's the Tirreno-Adriatico podium history

2016 Tirreno Adriatico

Kristoff Vandewalle hangs up his chamois

Kistoff Vandewalle (30) has been unable to find a new team after suffering a trouble-plagued 2015 season.

The Belgian time-trial specialist (Belgian champion in the event 2012, 2013, 2014) has ridden for Trek the last two years, but 2015 was a season of misfortunes, including a broken rib acquired at the Giro and a broken rib after a fall in the Vuelta.

Kristoff Vandewalle

Kristoff Vandewalle at the 2014 Tour of Poland

Vandewalle has decided to make a clean break with professional cycling and pursue a new career. He has a degree in commercial engineering, but has not yet decided what exactly he will do in the future.

We wish him well.

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary