World Tourism moved to Duesseldorf today with Grand Depart and a million spectators
A million excited spectators, including ten thousands of tourists and visitors from all over the world are currently in Duesseldorf Germany, the city of bicycles, the city of Alt Beer and Fashion. Duesseldorf has been working hard on this date and has given it all to make this weekend a success and an event for the world to remember.
Cycling is the “in way” to get around in this city located along the banks of River Rhine and home of eTurboNews Germany. The Tour de France kicked off in Duesseldorf and was called the “Grand Depart.”
Visitors staying at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Duesseldorf had a chance to witness the official start of the race right in front of their doorsteps. They heard the national anthems of France and Germany performed and saw hundreds of bicycles taking off for Liege, Belgium on Sunday afternoon.
On Saturday stage one operated a test for the race on an 8.7 mile stretch around the city.
Duesseldorf has been in a party mood all weekend. The famous Old Town and hundreds of bars in this party stretch sold plenty of Alt Bier, a unique brew one only finds in Duesseldorf.
The sporting part of the Grand Départ kicked off with the presentation of the teams on Thursday, 29 June, at 6 pm. On Friday, the Lichterfest (festival of lights) at Schloss Benrath in Duesseldorf offered the audience classical music under open skies, a romantic illuminated palace and breath-taking fireworks. At the same time, the official reception of the Grand Départ Düsseldorf 2017 was held there.
On Saturday after the stage one trial ride, a top German music group KRAFTWERK 3-D performed at an open air concert for the start of the Tour de France with special guest AIR. It was held in Ehrenhof. Around a million spectators are expected.
Alejandro Valverde, a podium finisher in 2015, has crashed out of the Tour de France in the opening time trial on rain-slickened roads, dealing a blow to his teammate Nairo Quintana’s hopes of winning the race.
Quintana had been counting on Valverde, a Tour veteran, to help him overthrow defending champion Chris Froome of Team Sky.
But the Movistar rider’s wheels slid from under him on a left-hand bend on the course in Duesseldorf on Saturday, sending him sliding hard into metal barriers.
eTN Publisher’s sister Ute Bock took some pictures showing the start of the race Sunday afternoon:
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Six years after German TV stopped broadcasting cycling’s showpiece event because of a series of doping scandals and three decades after it last rolled off in the country, the Tour de France opened this weekend.
The last time the three-week race started from Germany was in 1987, when the Grand Depart took place in West Berlin — when the city was still divided.
A decade later, German cycling reached its high point when Jan Ullrich became the first and still only German rider to win the Tour.
Ullrich also finished runner-up five times in the Tour, three times behind Lance Armstrong, who was eventually stripped of his seven titles for doping.
These days, a new generation of German riders led by Martin, sprinters Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel — who have won 11 and nine Tour stages, respectively — plus classics specialist John Degenkolb, have drawn local fans back to cycling.
Duesseldorf is known for unique events, shopping fashion, unique food, and beer. The airport in Duesseldorf is the gateway for Air Berlin and is the third largest airport in Germany. The Duesseldorf Carnival is a yearly event and tourism spectacular any visitor to this town in March should not miss. Grand Depart is another innovated approach by the city to attract visitors and organize some mega fun for their own people.