The itinerary of the 2006 Peace race has been officially presented in Hannover, Germany, on Wednesday, March 29. The 58th edition of the event, which had to be cancelled last year because of financial problems, will not include Poland on its parcours, but instead start in Linz, Austria, move over into the Czech Republic and finish in Hannover.
"It wasn't easy to organise our stage race in only four months and unite the different countries involved," race director Herbert Notter told German Radsportnews.com. "Our main sponsor, Skoda, did not want to start in Poland, and Poland wasn't interested in the race." Nevertheless 1274 kilometres long in total, the 2006 Peace race is scheduled from May 13-20.
Notter expected 15 to 16 teams to participate, each with eight riders, but competition is hard: the Giro d'Italia being held at the same time, the two German ProTeams T-Mobile and Gerolsteiner might not take part in the revived race. "I'm currently negotiating with Olaf Ludwig of T-Mobile," the race director continued. "It would be odd to miss T-Mobile, especially under the management of Ludwig [the winner of the Peace race in 1982 and 1986 - ed.], whereas when Godefroot directed it, there was always a way." Admitting it was rather late to fit the race into the team's programs, Notter revealed that Gerolsteiner had already declined the invitation, but that Team Milram would definitely take the start.
The fifth stage from Czech stage town Bilina to German Altenberg will cross the Erzgebirge mountain range, and therefore be one of the decisive factors in the GC turnout. One day later, the famous cobbled wall of Meerane will be taken on. The full itinerary is as follows:
Stage 1 - May 13: Linz - Schrems (AUT), 139 km
Stage 2 - May 14: Schrems - Ceske Budejovice (CZE), 177 km
Stage 3 - May 15: Beroun (CZE) - Karlovy Vary (CZE), 165 km
Stage 4 - May 16: Karlovy Vary (CZE) - Teplice (CZE), 176 km
Stage 5 - May 17: Bilina (CZE) - Altenberg, 141 km
Stage 6 - May 18: Dippoldiswalde - Meerane, 155 km
Stage 7 - May 19: Delitzsch - Thale, 185 km
Stage 8 - May 20: Wernigerode - Hannover, 136 km