Bike racing boss Rach about Degenkolb’s tears and a car-free May 1st

When you saw the tears of the Oberursel local hero John Degenkolb at the finish line on Sunday – as the head of racing at Eschborn-Frankfurt, can you really sympathize with a racing driver?

Of course I will remain neutral, but I would have indulged John if he had landed a home win again after all these years. He is more connected to this event than anyone else.

No outlier has won this race since 2000. Is the race developing into a pure controversy between the sprinters?

The route is designed and suitable to give space for attacks that can also be worthwhile. The future sprint winner Jasper Philipsen had been left behind three or four times in the Taunus. If more speed had been made at the front on the third and fourth crossings of the Mammolshainer Berg, Philipsen would probably not have come back. I would put it this way: Sprinters can win with us, but by far not everyone.

Doesn’t the race run the risk of people turning on the television late because it seems so predictable in the last quarter of the race?

No, because important decisions are already being made on the Taunus circuit on the Mammolshainer and Ruppertshainer climb. Because some teams make the race difficult there and decide which strategy will prevail.

Her predecessor Bernd Moos-Achenbach said in an interview with the FAS that the traditional race would probably not have survived the pandemic without the involvement of the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO). Is he right?

The fact that the race was still able to take place this year was due to the fact that we received the approval for a race on this date from the world association, despite the world championships taking place at the same time. Which is due to the good contacts between ASO and UCI and the status of Eschborn – Frankfurt as an internationally popular WorldTour race. The status has increased enormously. Admittedly on the basis of the race’s deep roots in the region, which is also reflected in the great support from the cities of Eschborn and Frankfurt. Mr. Moos-Achenbach is certainly right that it would have been difficult for a small organizational team to work out a hygiene concept from scratch. We at ASO were able to build on one and a half years of experience from the Tour de France and other major events.

John Degenkolb: More connected than anyone with this event.

Image: dpa

Part of the DNA of this event is to host 18 different competitions on one day. Why is no women’s professional race planned?

First of all, our racing offers for children and hobby drivers are of course also aimed at girls and women. If we were to add an elite women’s race to the schedule, we would have to part with other competitions. However, as we have done for 60 years, we definitely want to continue to appeal to children, talents and hobby drivers. So the non-elite. That’s why we’re not deciding against a women’s professional race, but for the entire spectrum of cycling.

You have expressed the wish to anchor a car-free day in Frankfurt on May 1st around the race. Do you have colleagues for this idea?

Cycling is booming, is more contemporary than almost any other sport and has received a boost from Corona. There is a lot going on around the topic of urban mobility everywhere – especially in Frankfurt. The fact that there are marked or even red-painted cycle paths around the finish line in front of the Alte Oper is a great sign. As organizers, we should continue to do a lot to combine professional sport with cycling as an everyday form of transport. On May 1st and beyond. We give concrete thought to this.


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