Niedersachsen Rundfahrt uncertain

The Niedersachsen Rundfahrt is the latest German stage race to feel the financial pinch which has hit German cycling following the doping scandals revealed last year. "We have a financial hole of about 100,000 Euro," race organiser Otto Pätzold told the Hessisch/Niedersachsen Allgemeine. The race is still scheduled to be held from April 23-27, but it is not certain whether it will be held. A final decision will be taken later this month.

The German state of Niedersachsen has already withdrawn its support, and vehicle supplier Volkswagen is considering whether to continue its sponsorship.

If the race is held, the final stage will end in Göttingen, Pätzold said, which is the race's traditional finale. Milram's Alessandro Petacchi won the event the last two years, taking all five stages in 2006 and three stages in 2007.

German pro cycling has already lost one major race for 2008; the Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt, whose organisation committee announced its dissolution in early December 2007. Meanwhile, the organisers of the Henninger Turm one-day race in Frankfurt are looking for a new sponsor to back their event in 2009, after the Henninger brewery announced last August that it would discontinue its involvement after the 2008 race.

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