In an official presentation in Düsseldorf, Germany, the organisers of the Deutschland Tour have announced the itinerary for the 2006 edition of the ProTour stage race, won by Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner) this summer. On top of being 127 kilometres shorter than in 2005, next year's Deutschland Tour taking place from August 1-9 will also not include the Rettenbachferner mountain finish, which was the highest of its kind in 2005. Many observers rated the announced route as well-balanced and moderate.
T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich, for whom the nine-day stage race on home soil is a major goal next summer, is happy with the course. "The race profile suits me," Ullrich said via videoconference at the presentation. "It provides a good opportunity to ride for overall victory. The Deutschland Tour is the second highlight of the year for me, after the Tour de France."
A ten-kilometre prologue will start the race in Düsseldorf next year, as it will move South into Austria and culminate on the seventh stage to Seefeld, crossing the 2017 metres high Kühtai pass. The complete course outlines as follows:
Stage 1: Tuesday, August 1 - Düsseldorf ITT, 7-12 km (to be announced)
Stage 2: Tuesday, August 2 - Düsseldorf - Bielefeld, 198 km
Stage 3: Tuesday, August 3 - Minden - Goslar, 209 km
Stage 4: Tuesday, August 4 - Witzenhausen - Schweinfurt, 202 km
Stage 5: Tuesday, August 5 - Heidenheim - Bad Tölz, 192 km
Stage 6: Tuesday, August 6 - Bad Tölz - Seefeld, Austria, 189 km
Stage 7: Tuesday, August 7 - Seefeld - St. Anton, Austria, 180 km
Stage 8: Tuesday, August 8 - Bad Säckingen ITT, 40 km
Stage 9: Tuesday, August 9 - Bad Krozingen - Karlsruhe, 182 km