DeutschlandRUSH, the racing bike stage ride from Dortmund to Kirchberg im Brixental, has successfully reached the Kitzbühel Alps after six challenging stages. On Thursday afternoon the field rolled into the village square of Kirchberg, received by the KitzSki board members Anton Bodner and Christian Wörister and the managing director of the Kitzbüheler Alpen-Brixental TVB, Maximilian Salcher.
The athletes were in the saddle for six days. They covered around 960 kilometers and over 10,000 meters in altitude. “Always in the team, always together,” said a delighted Leopold Gfellner, at 60 the oldest driver in the field.
"With DeutschlandRUSH we want to strengthen the connection to our partners at Borussia Dortmund", explained TVB managing director Max Salcher. And it is about sending a signal to the many guests from North Rhine-Westphalia, said Salcher. "We show that the Ruhr area and the Kitzbühel Alps are much closer together than you think - in principle we are only a bike ride away from each other".
KitzSki board member, Anton Bodner said: “Cycling is also becoming more and more important for us as a mountain railway operator.” On the one hand, more and more mountain bikers and e-bikers are using the comfortable cable cars to enjoy dream tours at high altitudes. But racing cyclists are also an important target group. “KitzSki stands for the perfect combination of sport, nature and enjoyment. Those who enjoy our mountains on a racing bike in summer also enjoy skiing in winter, ”added KitzSki Marketing Director Christian Wörister.
That this bike tour is different was not only evident at the finish in Kirchberg. On Saturday, September 4th, 15 athletes started a unique racing bike ride across Germany in the Borussia Dortmund stadium. Supported by the ex-BVB professionals Roman Weidenfeller and Patrick Owomoyela, Marketing Director Carsten Cramer sent the DeutschlandRUSH on a journey through the Ruhr area, Hochsauerland, Rothaargebirge, the Vogelsberg region over the Swabian Alp and through Upper Bavaria to the edge of the Alps and on to Tyrol.
Wherever seconds are fought for in normal marathons or races, the DeutschlandRUSH is pure teamwork. “A large and colorful bunch of individual athletes met in Dortmund,” reports organizer Hans-Peter Kreidl. “A team was found after the first stage. And here in the Kitzbühel Alps, new friends have finally made ".
A coffee trip looks different, however: the program was between 140 and 200 kilometers per day, plus 1200 to 2000 meters in altitude - at an average speed of just under 30 kilometers per hour. "That sounds faster than it is," explained Hans-Peter Kreidl. “If the team works, almost anything goes”.
And even in the preparation stage, the route managers Eva Kruse and Heiko Janik had relied on teamwork: many cycling clubs along the route had contributed their favorite routes off the beaten track. At the end there was a stage trip with almost no car traffic. Instead: Every day new landscapes, cultures and impressions away from the road. "I never would have thought that Germany could be so empty and, above all, that so many different landscapes can be experienced," said Pierre Dehaes from Cologne. His special moment of DeutschlandRUSH: “If too. the Alps can be seen on the horizon for the first time, that gives you an extra boost ”.
Under the given circumstances the DeutschlandRUSH was smaller than planned. Nevertheless, those responsible are looking forward to the coming years - and are more than confident about the future. "We wanted to start despite Corona and definitely go through with the DeutschlandRUSH", said Maximilian Salcher, Managing Director of the TVB Kitzbüheler Alpen - Brixental. It was about setting a sign that things are going again. “In the next three years we will welcome the DeutschlandRUSH again with us”, - the tourism manager is certain that there will be a significantly larger number of participants.