News for November 1, 1997

From Germany

The East German city of Dresden wants to get the start of the Tour de France in 2006. After a talk with the representative of the Tour de France in Germany, Bernard Creff, city major Herbert Wagner said: "We want to have the start in Dresden in 2006. This would fit well our celebration of the city's 800th birthday. The Tour would be a great promotion for Dresden." As Creff said, the final decision about the city that gets the Tour start wouldn’t be taken before the beginning of 2005. But he thought that the capital of Saxony would have good chances. In 1987, Creff got the start of the Tour for Berlin which celebrated it’s 750th birthday that year. To get a tour start, a city has to invest at least three million marks.

Brochard and his back

The new World Champion, Frenchman Laurent Brochard, from Team Festina, "has been progressing favorably with the hernia of the disk", said today his sport director Bruno Roussel, after Brochard underwent medical exams. Brochard will continue with he slow therapy based on stretching exercises in the water to develop the abdominal muscles. The World Champion's program for next year will be established in the coming weeks: "we will go into details, but Laurent has agreed to participate at the Tour de France and the World Cup".

Ullrich voted most popular sportsperson in Germany

Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich is Germany's most popular sports personality, according to a poll carried by weekly Der Spiegel. Ullrich, who became the first German to win the Tour last July, beat Olympic decathlon silver medallist Frank Busemann and 1992 Oympic 5,000 metres champion Dieter Baumann into second and third places respectively. Steffi Graf came fourth, Michael Schumacher 11th and Boris Becker 14th.

The Naked Runner has his day in court

A 30-year-old man who ran naked behind the bunch in last July's Tour de France finish on the Champs-Elysees told judges on Wednesday that he wanted to disturb winner Jan Ullrich. ``We were wondering how we could upset Ullrich and favour (second-placed Frenchman) Richard Virenque,'' said Xavier Clement, an actor who had been challenged by friends to carry out the stunt. A Paris court fined him 2,000 francs ($334) for the offence. His friends, in contrast, offered him lunch in an expensive restaurant. ($ - 5.987 French Francs)