By Susan Westemeyer
Rund um Köln will have a new finish line in 2008. The race, traditionally held on Easter Monday, will start as usual at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, and go out into the countryside for some climbs, but when it returns to the city of Cologne, it will not finish on the banks of the Rhine river as it has for the last few years. The previous finish was near the headquarters of DEVK insurance company, the former main sponsor that has now withdrawn its support. The finish for next year's edition, to be held March 23, will be in downtown Cologne at a location to be determined, reported the Rundschau-Online.de.
There had been preliminary plans to start the race in neighbouring Bonn if T-Mobile had become the race's new sponsor. However, the firm has not committed itself, and the race organisers cannot wait any longer to set the course.
Artur Tabat, the race manager, is still waiting for a new sponsor. "We are in negotiations with various firms, and hope for a decision soon," he commented. The race will take place no matter what, he promised. If there is no money for ProTour teams, then it will be held with Professional Continental or Continental teams.