Eurozone kingpin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit the opening day of this year’s international Eurobike trade show in late August.
In a move that cements the revived economic importance of bikes and cycling in Germany, Merkel will be at the event at Friedrichshafen in southern Germany on 28 August.
Klaus Wellman, CEO of the Messe Friedrichshafen exhibition centre where Eurobike is held annually said: “We are very pleased that the Chancellor is coming to Friedrichshafen for the Eurobike. This puts the topic of cycling and mobility in the center of the political and media spotlight.”
According to organisers, the Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Party will officially open the show which attracts 1,200 exhibitors and 40,000 visitors. She will also spend a couple of hours getting to “know the latest trends and innovations from around the biking world during a tour of the show.”
Germany’s relationship with cycling has been through rocky times, triggered largely by successive doping scandals affecting the country’s athletes and teams such as Jan Ullrich, Stefan Schumacher and the German Telekom squad.
However in February, the Accell Group, one of the world’s biggest cycle companies reported that its turnover in Germany increased six per cent in 2012. It reported that robust growth in Germany was built largely on strong sales of electric and high performance road bikes. A new wave of stars such as Tony Martin, Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb has also re-energised interest in the professional sport.