By Susan Westemeyer
Plans are moving along for the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, with both organisers and riders starting to make preparations. But cycling is only one of the sports which will hold its world championships in the 'European Sports City' next year - it will be joined by handball, artistic gymnastics and formation dancing.
Preparations for the road races are hard at work. "Twenty people are presently involved with organiziing the road world championships, and that figure will gradually increase," said Rolf Schneider, general secretary of the organizing committee. He also assured local residents and businesses that the week of racing wouldn't cause major traffic problems. "Short term measures are involved here, and were making the city's inhabitants aware of the unique chance they have to see the world championships heroes live on their own doorsteps," Schneider said.
Not far from Stuttgart is Herrenberg, Germany, better known as the home of Team Gerolsteiner. "A coup in Stuttgart would be comparable to a stroke of genius during the Tour de France," said Hans-Michael Holczer, team manager. Also not far away is the town of Nürtingen, the hometown of Stefan Schumacher, who "will base his schedule around the competition in September." The town only an hour's bike ride to the starting line, and he has already inspected the course.