Savoir vivre and Tour de France – Düsseldorf becomes the cycling capital.

Savoir vivre und Tour de France – Düsseldorf wird Fahrradhauptstadt.

“How does it start in Düsseldorf? The Tour de France? Why?"

For us, who share our excitement, it is amazing when friends and acquaintances react in disbelief and look at us questioningly because they think our tip is a strange joke. Not everyone has noticed what has excited us since December 22nd: the biggest event that our favorite sport has to offer will start on our doorstep in 2017. Like Bolle, we look forward to communicating with people from all over the world who visit Düsseldorf, share our passion, want to cycle in the area or visit us in our backyard in the cap. If the city does everything right, the excitement will continue well beyond July 2017. Because we are convinced that Düsseldorf has what it takes to become a cycling city, both in terms of sport and transport policy.

Of course, it's great to hear that we're not the only ones with this attitude. During the first official press conference of the Tour de France yesterday, Lord Mayor Thomas Geisel said that the bicycle is the means of transport of choice in everyday life. And that he wants to use the tailwind of the Tour de France to boost the local cycling campaign. It is precisely these approaches that make us so enthusiastic about the Grand Départ. No table fireworks in 2017, where everyone shouts “Ohhh” and then it's over, but from now on it's time to present Düsseldorf as Radstadt. The sports enthusiasts are already on board anyway, now everyone else has to be convinced.

Traffic is changing in the minds of the citizens, parallel to new cycle paths, understanding and enthusiasm must be triggered in order to take the decisive steps forward. Any examples? How about if the city's shopping centers offered cyclists reasonable parking spaces for their bikes of their own accord, instead of offering two alibi poles in front of the door as a bad alternative to underground parking spaces for cars. A short educational trip to Copenhagen is recommended for all interested decision-makers who are still hesitating. There you can see very quickly how great the quality of life in a city can be when cycling is promoted to an everyday and completely normal means of transport. And one is enthusiastic about how much gastronomy and a varied and functioning inner-city retail structure benefit from this. Important points if you want to inspire customers to shop locally in times of flourishing internet trade.

But first back to sports. Dusseldorf will be hosting the world's largest sporting event for four days, and neither the World Cup nor the European Championships nor the Olympics will provide any distractions in 2017. In the run-up, Düsseldorf welcomes the Triathlon World Championships, exactly one week from the Grand Départ. It shouldn't seem unreasonable to inspire many sports fans to stay for a week, hotels, gastronomy and retail definitely have nothing against it. Added to this is the group of likeable German cyclists who have caused a sensation at the Tour in recent years: John Degenkolb, Tony Martin, Marcel Kittel, Andre Greipel and Simon Geschke are apparently even more excited about the start of the Tour de France in Germany than we. And talk about the jackpot and the big party that the fans will throw in Düsseldorf. Christian Prudhomme, the personable and humorous mastermind behind the Tour, concedes with a wink that the 13km time trial course released yesterday is up to the abilities of a Tony Martin, so there's a good chance of seeing a German rider in yellow at the end of the first stage . And when, on the second day, after a neutralized start through Düsseldorf's old town, the route first leads east, through Erkrath and Neandertal, in order to point west again in a relaxed swing, some cities on the left bank of the Rhine can look forward to a tour entourage and German sprinter aces are happy. And can carry the mood, the party, the good mood and the enthusiasm throughout the region.

For us, the 2017 Grand Départ is not just about the Tour de France starting in Düsseldorf, but also about the bike having arrived in Düsseldorf by then. As a perfect means of transport for everyday life, as sports equipment, as a tourism magnet, as a machine for the future. Sounds ambitious? Sure, it can too. After all, we are in Düsseldorf.

Dates, routes and much more: Le Tour @ Düsseldorf

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