Ronde van het Groene Hart cancelled, while Köln-Schuld-Frechen's future looks bleak
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Friday, January 07, 2011

Ronde van het Groene Hart cancelled, while Köln-Schuld-Frechen's future looks bleak

by Jered Gruber at 3:11 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Dutch one day race fails to find sponsor, while German classic's future looks grim

The Ronde van het Groene Hart will not take place in 2011. The young Dutch one day race, featured for the first time in 2007, was supposed to run on March 20th, just ahead of the Spring Classics season.

The race, which was created to promote the rural, agricultural based area, which lies between the Netherlands's biggest cities: Rotterdam, Den Haag, Leiden, Haarlem, Amsterdam, and Utrecht, was not able to find a sponsor for the race in 2011.

Race director, Herman Brinkoff, was hopeful for a resumption in the race in 2012 when he spoke with AFP: "We continue to seek a new sponsor, so that we can resume in 2012."

Wouter Weylandt won the race's inaugural edition in 2007. He was succeeded by Tomas Vaitkus, Gert Omloop, and in 2010, it was Vacansoleil's Jens Mouris who raised his arms in triumph.

250 kilometers to the southeast, another spring classic is in danger of coming to an end. The northern German season opening race, also run on March 20th, Köln-Schuld-Frechen, is ok for 2011, but if it doesn't manage to find a major sponsor, the following edition could see an end to it.

The Kölner Stadt Anzeiger reports that the city of Köln has cut back sponsorship from 17,000 to 11,000 euros, and added on the painful prospect that more reductions are possible for future editions.

Rauthgundis Höschen, president of the RC Adler Köln, the club that manages the race, is certain that the 2011 edition will run without any problems, but the fate beyond 2011 looks increasingly murky, especially considering the current climate in Germany in regards to cycling.

The race was first run in 1920 and at 190 windy kilometers, has been a mainstay on the German calendar for almost a century now. Kuota's David Kopp triumphed in 2010 in a bunch sprint.

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