Anyone who happened to visit the “Rund um die Kö” cycle race in May in recent years was quite astonished: hundreds of barriers, athletes who daringly pedaled handlebars to handlebars out of the saddle in the tight corners, but hardly any spectators. Actually even fewer visitors than on a normal Sunday on the Kö. Why? Good question…
The magnificent boulevard and a bicycle race – what seems bizarre at first glance is actually a terrific combination. Which city can claim to have held a cycle race once a year since 1968 on one of the most renowned shopping streets in the republic. "Rund um die Kö" was once a big race, in the 80s several thousand spectators cheered national teams and elite drivers. At that time, a starting field of 600 drivers from all over the world was the norm, in recent years people have been happy to be able to attract 600 spectators to the Kö. In this context, we have to mention the commitment of the Düsseldorf Stadtsparkasse, which as the main sponsor has remained loyal to the race even in the most difficult times. Without this support, the “Grand Savings Bank Prize of the State Capital Düsseldorf”, the subtitle of “Rund um die Kö”, would no longer exist.
A race that has endured for so long, defied all of cycling's adversaries and never gave up, must now rise like the phoenix from the ashes at a time when cycling is seen as a solution to many inner-city traffic problems and as an exciting sport. After all, Düsseldorf has something like winning the cycling lottery. With professional additional number. Next year, our hometown will host the Grand Départ. Thirty years after the start in Berlin, we welcome the Tour de France entourage and become the focus of the global cycling community for a few days. It's nice that a new, carefree and likeable generation of German cyclists is celebrating success at the same time: Andre Greipel, John Degenkolb, Marcel Kittel and Tony Martin. And there is also a lot to offer locally, Ruben Zepuntke and Nils Schomber are just a few of the many local up-and-coming talents. Which brings us back to “Around the Kö”…
Crazy racers on the Kö - a spectacle with and without brakes
Many young racers on two wheels can be admired on the Königsallee this year, starting with the children's racing series called Petit Départ, which with great private support is intended to make cycling popular again even among the very young semesters, through to the U19 junior round and the Criterion for women you can look forward to exciting races in the Kö-Karree.
Last year we from the cap talked to those responsible in the city, from the local organizer SG Radschläger and the guys from RAD Race met to give "Rund um die Kö" a little rejuvenation. Cheered on by the RAD Race Team, the fixed gear scene with the Dortmund “Fixed-Pott” crew and the Dresden “U-Lock-Justice” crew put together a race that Düsseldorf can look forward to. Title:
This is not Potcrit.
Rules: track bike, fixed gear, no brakes. If that doesn't mean anything: look. These races are the punk rock of cycling, great cinema guaranteed. Rock'n'Roll Racing - loud, fast, violent. At the moment I am writing these lines, almost 48 hours after the start of online registration, half of the 80 starting places for men are gone. And the Kö can look forward to an international starting field. No joke, there's even a request from Brooklyn. There are not quite as many registrations from the Fixed Gear women, which is certainly proof that the mix of shops on the Kö does not necessarily hit the mark with some target groups. But there's still some time.
Before the tour is on the tour - The Race on the Rhine 2016
At the same time, on September 18, thousands of everyone will go on a long journey on Berliner Allee. Two distances of 46 and 92 kilometers will offer cycling speed freaks the opportunity to set their own best times on the route of the Tour de France.
Berliner Allee and Kö are connected by an event area on Steinstraße, here there are all sorts of things to see at stands and on the stage, in the late afternoon also our training partners from Porn al Forno . We will delight you with good coffee at the Chicke Mütze stand and in our neighborhood there are some cycling innovations for the next season to admire, including POC and adidas with stands at the start.
We know that in recent years there have been few arguments for visiting "Rund um die Kö", just the thought of the musical accompaniment to the event in recent years makes my own ears bleed. But we don't hold grudges. And we believe in the good, the true. We are full of confidence and excited about what awaits us. And we hope that everyone who enjoys cycling and cycling will make their way to downtown Düsseldorf on September 18th to celebrate a day for cycling with us and many others. And cheer on all the drivers who are passionate about it.
If you still want to play an active role: the city is still looking for supporters. Both for Race am Rhein and for the start of the tour next year. More information here:
See you. On September 18th. On the Kö, on the Steinstraße or on the route.
Around the Kö: Oh, sorry, there is no website. Not yet…