Less racing in Austria in 2007

Fügen, Austria, was hoping to host the arrival of a stage of the 2007 Deutschland Tour, but the town got turned down. "The Tour organiser told us no. The reason is the way the route is being planned," said Werner Kostenzer, head of the tourism agency of Hochfügen (TVB).

The TVB had already budgeted 70,000 Euros for the stage finish and was arranging hotel rooms for 600 people. "Now we're on the starting ramp for 2008. That looks better," Kostenzer said.

In addition, the area also lost a post-Tour de France criterium. The fourth Europa-Radkriterium had been scheduled for August 3, but the tourism agency of Mayrhofen-Hippach now cancelled its sponsorship. "The requested sponsorship payment of some 200,000 Euros was just too much if we won't have Tour stars like Jan Ullrich or Georg Totschnig," said spokesman Andreas Hundsbichler.

Nevertheless, Hundsbichler is not giving up on cycling. "We would rather invest that money in the infrastructure so that we can come back big on the cycling scene in 2008," Hundsbichler said. "We want to hire Georg Totschnig as our spokesman for the summer of 2008." Totschnig, a native of the area, retired at the end of last season.

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