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"There are several requests and as an option we also have the model of organizing the Bayern Rundfahrt completely with private funds."

Photo: Sirotti


09.12.2015 @ 08:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Ewald Strohmeier sees the chances that the Bayern Rundfahrt will take place in 2016 as "fifty-fifty”. Until December 20, the race director of Germany's only stage race will try to find the 300,00 euros that are needed to turn the 37th edition of the race into reality. Otherwise, the race will have to be canceled and a new attempt will be made for the 2017 season.


After 36 years of smooth cooperation, die Bayerischen had told Strohmeier and his team "some time ago" that they would end their sponsorship at the end of 2015,


"After the 2015 edition, we still hoped that the sponsorship would continue in a new way, based on the recent excellent cooperation with the Volks- und Reiffeisenbanken," Strohmeier told "The local banks were enthusiastic about the Bayern Rundfahrt like never before, but the union did not change their decision. Of course it is a great pity that it won’t continue but we are mainly grateful for the past 36 years. Where in cycling do you such a sponsor that has been loyal to a race over such a long period?”


Behind the scenes, the organizers have worked fully on a new plan which would allow Strohmeier and his team to lay the foundation for the continuation and professionalization of the Bayern Rundfahrt. This included the creation of full-time jobs in the organization that were previously done by volunteers and an effort to get TV coverage of the race. According to Strohmeier for whom the TV aspect is a major concern, the resulting costs accounted for a significant part of the 300,000 euro shortfall.


"We know that we have a responsibility towards the fans and the sponsors to ensure an adequate presence in national and international TV. In the past few years, we were able to achieve some successes in this area and especially in 2015 we had a significantly better resonance on TV. But without investment in out ownTV production it does not work, so we need a significantly higher budget than in the past," he explained.


Strohmeier emphasizes that the main goal is not live coverage "because we are in direct competition with the Giro d'Italia, which is broadcast live on Eurosport." Instead, he wants to present to extensive stage reports in the evenings.


First, however, it is all about saving the 37th edition of the Bayern Rundfahrt and for this to happen, Strohmeier who started the race in 1980 and has been race director ever since, is willing to break new ground. "There are several requests and as an option we also have the model of organizing the Bayern Rundfahrt completely with private funds," explained the 66-year-old. At the same time, he is still looking for sponsors like never before.


Strohmeier refused to reveal the identity of potential backers but "if you look at the scenery, you know which companies could be involved. I think the Bayern Rundfahrt would fit well into the portfolio of many."


The new planned WorldTour that is planned for comes at a bad time if the 2016 edition of the race will be canceled. "If the reform coms in 2017, it would be bad for us because then we would have no chnce to apply for a spot on the WorldTour for 2017," he said. If the reform is implemented in 2018, it would suit Strohmeier a lot better. Even if the 2016 edition is saved, a move into the WorldTour for the Bayern Rundfahrt is no formality though.


"The competition is fierce, with races like the Tour of Turkey or the Tour of California. That also makes it more important for us to be on the right path,” said Strohmeier who is not thinking about giving up. "I could well imagine to lead the tour for another two or three years and share my experience in a newly formed team of partners and sponsors. But at 70 years of age, I don’t want to be active anymore. At some point, you have to let the boys take over,” he stressed. 



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