Things are looking up again. Many adults who grew up in the former GDR will still have the fanfare of the Friedensfahrt in their ears. Every year in May, the largest cycle race was held in the communist world through Poland, Czechoslovakia and the GDR. For more than a week, the Highway heroes, as drivers like Täve Schur, Bernhard Eckstein, Olaf Ludwig or Uwe Ampler were called, the front pages and sports pages of the daily newspapers.
With the turnaround 25 years ago, however, the gradual decline of the traditional tour began, which in its late years formed drivers like Jens Voigt and Steffen Wesemann, who is the lone record holder with five overall victories. After a total of 59 editions, the Friedensfahrt ended in 2006. Since then, there have been several rumors and efforts to revive the race. However, the sequel will only become reality this year.
The revival is closely linked to Jozef Regec, a Czech with an active racing career of his own, who jumped at the chance to secure the rights to the race. This all comes after the failed efforts of Czech coal magnate Zdenek Bakala, who also owns Team Omega Pharma-QuickStep, last year.
gegenüber cycling-news.com Regez stated: "The race will definitely be held this year. We will start on May 1st in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic and end on May 6th in the Polish town of Sucha Beskidzka.” The exact route is not yet known. What is certain, however, is that the well-known logo of the tour, the Picasso dove, will no longer be used.