Several German races dissapeared from the calendar this year and althought the traditional one day races Rund um Köln
and Henninger Turm will take place this year, its far from certain that they will still exist in 2009.
The online edition of German TV- and Radio station WDR, wdr.de spoke with Arthur Tabat about the difficulties he had to
organise the 100th year anniversary of Rund um Köln.
Asked if Rund um Köln's funding was cut, Tabat said:"One could say so. Our head sponsor left and other important backers
stopped or reduced their involvement. This year we have only half the budget as we had in the past years." Actually the race
was secured by two new sponsors, Wheel Tire manufacturer Schwalbe and Milram sponsor, Nordmilch AG stepped in.
Tabat was also asked if he was angry at professional riders who doped. Tabat said: "I was shocked about the scale
of doping in cycling - I didn't suspect it to be like this. I organise this race since 1972 and we always had to deal
with bigger and smaller financial problems. But the doping stories almost put us over the edge. In the truest sense of
the word myself included. Last summer I suffered from a stroke. I had to stay for a long time in a rehabilitation
Races like the Dreiländer - Tour and Rheinlandpfalz - Rundfahrt were cancelled this year but Tabat was not even considering
to cancel the oldest German race. "No especially this year that didn't even came in my mind. We will celebrate our 100th anniversary.
I absolutely wanted to do that. You could say with that my lifework is completed."
Tabat failed 60.00 euros to let the race finish in the center of Cologne. 'Mister Rund um Köln' tried to negotiate with local
authorities but did not succeed. The race will now finish in a suburb of Cologne, Cologne-Kalk. The riders will receive not
as many money as in the past years as well.
Tabat is not a hard business man, but he knows himself very well and was smart enough to let Alexander Donike do the
negotiations with the teams. "I know that there are riders who do not get paid very well. I would not be able to offer them
less. Donike reported to me that with the exception of Belgian Team Quickstep all were reasonable. We will have a top field."
Its reported that Quickstep also won't participate in next months Tour de Georgia for the same reason.
Tabat is not optimistic about the future of the race. Asked if his race has a future, Tabat said: "Difficult to say.
We received postcards of former volunteers who wrote that they do not want to have anything to do with this f*ck doping."