In Berlin, thousands of professional and semi-professional cyclists took over the streets on Sunday. With that many participants, the odds of winning were low. But this mainly was about all the fun and sweating a whole lot.
Berlin, July 3rd, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — In Berlin, another big bicycle event took place on Sunday. This time, it was not a protest but a race. Today, the most effective way to lose the calories included in a McDonald’s Big Tasty menu was to be part of Velo City Berlin. Some 5,500 cyclists were. They rode to Strasse des 17. Juni near Brandenburg Gate from all parts of the city. About half the racers came to the capital from other cities and regions in Germany.
Flanked by Police
At 9:15 a.m., Berlin’s Environment Senator Bettina Jarasch was present when the starting shot was fired. The race was on. It took the fastest participants two minutes to reach the Victory Column. They raced by like crazy. This crowd of cyclists looked and sounded like a swarm of bees. But took quite a while until all athletes, including the slowest ones and those whose strategy included taking it slowly at the beginning, had rode by.
They were flanked by police officers on motorbikes who stopped the traffic along the entire route. At the starting point on Strasse des 17. Juni, a heavy truck was used as an anti-terrorism barrier. When the race commenced, it was moved away. Hundreds of volunteers made sure nobody stood in the way or crossed the street at the wrong moment.
The Velo City Berlin bike race had two versions. Participants who felt sort of confident were part of a 60-kilometer race (37 miles). Those who thought they needed to be even more exhausted and sweaty afterwards chose the 90-kilometer version (56 miles). The short race was going to end where the whole thing started, close to Brandenburg Gate, while the long one’s finish was located at Tegeler See, one of Berlin’s nice lakes.
On Thursday, the preparations for Velo City Berlin had begun. Early this morning, several streets were blocked to motorized traffic. The traffic situation will be difficult until Monday morning, but the weather was perfect. When the race began, there was not one cloud in the sky above the city of cities.
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Economy and Image
SCC Events, the company that organizes the event, says it wants to bring it to Berlin on an annual basis and give bike racing more importance. According to Visit Berlin, the state-owned company that promotes Berlin as a tourist destination, Velo City is good for Berlin’s economy and its image.
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