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Scharping fights for Peace race

The new president of the German Cycling Federation, former minister of Defence Rudolph Scharping has decided to take up the battle to save the Peace race, which was announced to be cancelled a few days ago. "The Peace race made millions of people come to the streets to watch - we will do anything we possibly can to maintain it," Scharping told German sports news agency sid. A mini version of the stage race is planned for as soon as autumn 2005, and the whole event is to be revived for next year in its usual form.

Scharping met with the former Peace race marketing director Jörg Strenger last Sunday at the Henninger Turn race in Frankfurt. "As soon as the Peace race 2006 has a real perspective of happening in May 2006, we'll organise a substitute for it this year in order not to interrupt the series," Strenger added. The traditional race, whose marketing rights are owned by the Czech cycling federation, has run continuously since 1948. However, Strenger had been fired from the organisation after an argument over precisely these marketing rights with race director Pavel Dolezel. Now, the former member of German parliament Scharping is to mediate between the two parties.

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