The Deutschland Tour (English: Tour of Germany and sometimes Deutschland-Rundfahrt in German) is the most important stage race in Germany. Initially the race was held in May/June. Since 2005, it has been part of the UCI ProTour and has been moved to August.
Already in 1911, a "national" cycling race of over 1,500 km was held in the German Empire (Germany was then lots of more or less independent kingdoms, duchies, and other little countries ). Until 1931 several Tours were held, organised by different groups. In 1931 the first Deutschlandtour was held. The race was well organised and exciting between 1937 and 1939, but stopped again at the start of World War II.
There was not a lot of road cycling in Germany, and the tour's popularity depended on German riders doing well in other races. This resulted in several parallel tours of West Germany.
But after Jan Ullrich's 1997 Tour de France victory, cycling became more popular. Partly as because of Germany's new-found cycling enthusiasm, the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer e.V. (German Cyclists' Federation) and the company Upsolut founded the Deutschland Tour gmbh (Ltd) 1999 the Deutschlandtour restarted, but has not been run since 2008 because of a lack of interest from TV sponsors.
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