By Susan Westemeyer
The regional German stage races have been hit hard by the doping problems of the last few years, and yet another one seems to have fallen victim. A number of sponsors and start/finish towns in southern Germany have demanded that the Regio Tour in 2009 be changed to an amateur race.
"For a continued partnership as of the year 2009, it is a requirement that the organiser, the Regio-Tour GmbH, conduct a stage race for riders who do not have a professional license," according to a press release issued jointly by the communities and cities of Sexau, Hietersheim, Müllheim, Neuenburg, Schopfheim, Vogtsburg and Wehr, as well as sponsors Rothaus and Badenova.
"With this decision, the previous partners of the Rothaus RegioTour are making a definite statement against doping in road cycling," the press release continued. "At the same time, they continue to believe that a clean cycling sport still has a big future."