Support for the bid came in the run-up from numerous prominent figures from the worlds of business, sports and society in general, including German professional cyclists John Degenkolb, André Greipel, Marcel Kittel, Tony Martin, and Ruben Zepuntke
André Greipel, Team Lotto Soudal
"The Grand Départ in Düsseldorf would be a highlight of the new wave of enthusiasm for the Tour de France and a reward for the hard work and the great achievements of the new generation of German racing cyclists - a genuine highlight not only for cycling enthusiasts but for everyone. It is not only an advertisement for the sport of cycling but for the bicycle generally. The example of London clearly shows how the level of enthusiasm for a Grand Départ can also make the bicycle an accepted means of transport in the city."
Marcel Sieberg, Team Lotto Soudal
"The Grand Départ of the Tour de France is always a special experience for every participant. Düsseldorf offers an exceptional location for the start of the tour with the Rhine, the Old Town and the riverside promenade. If thousands of German fans are already cheering us on along the route abroad every year, these thousands will no doubt become hundreds of thousands in Düsseldorf."
Ruben Zepuntke, Team Cannondale Garmin
"As something of a local hero here, it would be particularly motivating for me to take part in the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in my home city of Düsseldorf. As racing cyclists, we are delighted with the concept of combining the professional side of the sport with the promotion of mobility for all citizens. As I am frequently out cycling in the city, I am particularly pleased about the city's plans to extend the cycle path network by 300 kilometres."
Dr. Michael Vesper, Chairman of the German Olympic Sports Confederation
"The Tour de France has always been one of the greatest sporting events in the world and has cast a spell on many sports fans. It would therefore be of great benefit for Germany as a sports nation if the start of the tour in 2017 could take place on German soil."
Peter Schwabe, President Stadtsportbund (city sports alliance) Düsseldorf
"The Tour de France is the biggest and most important cycling event in the world and generally one of the biggest sporting events in the world. If we are awarded the contract, 2017 will be an outstanding sporting year for the sports city of Düsseldorf and simply a unique year in our sporting history altogether with the Table Tennis World Cup, the Triathlon European Cup and the Tour de France. The Tour can also act as an initial impulse to promote sustained and successful development of cycling as a future sport in Düsseldorf."
Christof Kreutzer, Head Coach of DEG (Düsseldorf ice hockey club)
"We already have the France Festival in Düsseldorf, the biggest of its kind in Germany. We have over 6,000 French citizens living here and many French companies have also established offices here. And our Rhine metropolis is not called "Little Paris" for nothing. As to the Tour de France starting in Düsseldorf: It just has to be!"
Sonja Oberem, Olympic and World Championship marathon runner and German triathlon champion
"The Tour de France would make it absolutely clear once more that Düsseldorf is a genuine sports city. Not only Düsseldorf but the entire region will benefit from the media attention for the Tour de France. This will be an absolute highlight for Düsseldorf, something that the city has really lacked until now."
Ralf Jaros, triple jumper / German record holder and Olympic competitor
"I was born in Düsseldorf and am proud to be a citizen of this city. I have been lucky enough to take part in a variety of major events as an active athlete. The memories that particularly stick in my mind apart from the sporting events themselves, are the places and the people I met. The Tour would be another opportunity for Düsseldorf to prove that the city and its citizens are really special hosts."
Daniel Kreutzer, German ice hockey player of the DEG (Düsseldorf ice hockey club)
"That would be an absolute highlight on the city's calendar of events and a fantastic honour for Düsseldorf. This would trigger the organisation of even more sporting and cultural events in the state capital to add to the already really impressive ones. To have these international sporting stars in Düsseldorf - that would be a dream come true!"
André Pollmächer, long-distance runner / member of "Team Rio"
"The Tour de France will increase the international awareness of Düsseldorf as a sporting and world city and will no doubt offer many advantages for the region. However, the main benefit of unique international sporting events like the Tour de France is the way they convey emotions. Emotions that make the children who see their idols and role models in action, want to become little sports athletes themselves. Emotions for parents who become spectators and supporters of their children. Emotions that make local companies want to be investors and sponsors, who identify with Düsseldorf athletes. These factors promote the development of top athletes who proudly represent their city around the world."
Rob Collins, Canadian ice hockey player of DEG (Düsseldorf ice hockey club)
"A fantastic event for a fantastic city! The Tour de France with its international flair is a perfect match for Düsseldorf and the people living here. The whole world would be looking at Düsseldorf - the city can only benefit from this!"
Tim Conboy, US ice hockey player of the DEG (Düsseldorf ice hockey club)
"The Germans are outstanding organisers. They have already successfully hosted many major events. They would also do a great job with the Tour de France. Düsseldorf especially, with its beauty and versatility offers ideal conditions for such an event!"
"The Tour de France in Düsseldorf would be a fantastic achievement for our sports city. We would then have another high-calibre sporting event here in Düsseldorf which would certainly make not only cycling enthusiasts in Germany aware of our state capital! I am sure that the cyclists would be delighted with the many beautiful parts of Düsseldorf that they would travel through on the cycle route and they would be delighted to meet the people of Düsseldorf too. As basketball players in Düsseldorf, we would be delighted to welcome the Tour de France and other major sporting events to Düsseldorf!"
"The Düsseldorf cycling enthusiasts support the application to host the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in 2017. Admittedly, the cycling clubs in Düsseldorf are biased when it comes to the Tour de France. We support all the initiatives that promote cycling in the state capital of North Rhine Westphalia. The biggest and most important cycling event in the world is naturally part of this. However, apart from our "natural affinity" to the Tour de France, the hosting of the Grand Départ would benefit the entire development of the city of Düsseldorf. The Table Tennis World Cup and the Triathlon European Cup are already held in Düsseldorf. With the start of the Tour de France as well, 2017 could be Düsseldorf's sporting year. Düsseldorf has a chance here to move into the spotlight of the international Olympic sporting world. Let's take that chance."
Ralf Denk, owner of the German team "Bora"
"As a racing team owner, I would be delighted to be able to start the race in front of my home crowd!"
Marcel Wüst, sports commentator and multiple tour participant
"Hello dear Düsseldorf citizens, you have applied to host the start of the Tour de France - and even as a native of Cologne I have to say, we cannot begrudge the Düsseldorfers this chance. Because holding the Tour de France in the Rhineland - that would be fantastic not only for Düsseldorf but for the entire region. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!"
Iwan Spekenbrink, Owner of the German professional tour team "Giant Alpecin"
"This year, the Grand Départ is in Mont Saint Michel. It would be a dream come true if a year later in 2017, the Grand Départ could be in Düsseldorf - in Germany. At last, the Grand Départ would be in a country that really deserves it, for a new generation of cyclists. Real sports fans will really enjoy it. Good luck!"
Frank Schiffmann, Sports Manager of Men's handball team of HSG ART Düsseldorf
"The Tour de France in Düsseldorf is a fantastic idea. I can really imagine international top-level sport of this quality on the streets of Düsseldorf. The handball section of ART would definitely stand and cheer along the route."
Paul Specht, General Manager of DEG Eishockey GmbH (ice hockey club)
"The Tour de France is the most prestigious bike race in the world! Düsseldorf as an internationally oriented city with many sporting ambitions would be the ideal venue for the Grand Départ. Düsseldorf with its city administration and institutions has often demonstrated that it can host an event of this magnitude superbly!"
Prof. Sascha Schmidt, Professor "Center for Sports and Management" at the Campus Düsseldorf of the WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management
"With over 80 major sports events (such as the Metro Group marathon, the PSD Bank Meeting or the DEL Winter Game) and visitors totalling over a million per year, Düsseldorf is one of the top addresses for thrilling experiences and events in Germany."
Entrepreneurs and celebrities
Dr. Paul Breuer, former CEO and member of the management board of Merrill Lynch
"For Düsseldorf, also known as "Little Paris", the chance of being part of the Tour de France in 2017 would be a sporting innovation that you could hardly beat. Who would have thought we could organise a cross country skiing World Cup event along the banks of the Rhine? Of course, it is an organisational and financial challenge but I think "Yes, we can" host the Tour de France. It would be just up our street!"
Georg Broich, Owner / Managing Director of Broich Catering & Locations
"We have been actively supporting cycling for many years now. What began with the Team Gerolsteiner and the team NSP, is now continuing with the most successful team open to anyone, the Bürstner team. We also support the U23 young talent team P & S in Thüringen. In the many years of our sponsoring activity, we have experienced more than ten Grand Départs. It would be a dream come true if this fantastic sporting event could be hosted in my home city of Düsseldorf."
Willi Bruckbauer, Inventor and Entrepreneur BORA, Raubling
"We will keep our fingers crossed for the city of Düsseldorf and really hope that Germany will have another chance after 30 years to be the host of the start event of the Tour de France. Cycling is becoming popular again in Germany, the public interest is there, we as the main sponsor of BORA - ARGON 18, have experienced this at first hand this year. Our expectations have been greatly surpassed in every respect but particularly as far as advertising value and publicity are concerned, and we can only encourage everyone to take up cycling."
Peter Franzen, Retailer / FRANZEN on Königsallee
"In a year without a major football event, OIympic Games or something similar, the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2017 is one of the most important sporting events of the year worldwide. Such a major event would undoubtedly do a city like Düsseldorf good to focus even more international attention on the city - quite apart from the many thousands of visitors who would be in the city for the start of the event - the media presence would be crucial."
Carsten Fritz, Director of Steigenberger Parkhotel
"The Tour de France is an important event for Düsseldorf to present and position the city at a national and international level. This would be a unique opportunity for Düsseldorf to present itself as an attractive alternative to other German cities for weekend breaks and sporting events. The three-day event would help Düsseldorf, as the fourth German city after Berlin, Frankfurt and Cologne, to arouse greater interest in the city and to set signals for the future that Düsseldorf is indeed worth a journey. I think that from a city marketing viewpoint, we are heading in the right direction by hosting such events."
Karl-Heinz Gatzweiler, Owner and General Manager of brewery "Zum Schlüssel"
"The Tour de France in Düsseldorf - the perfect opportunity to present Düsseldorf with all its advantages to the entire world. As an open and dedicated city, we will succeed in inspiring enthusiasm for Düsseldorf. We can only win here: a unique event will bring more visitors and further evidence that genuine hospitality is at the heart of the Rhenish culture."
Josef Hinkel, entrepreneur / Bäckerei Hinkel (bakery)
"There could not be a better opportunity to present our home city to the entire world as a sporting dynamic and creative metropolis."
Heiko Hutmacher, Personnel Director at METRO AG
"The Tour de France is one of the most important sporting events in the world captivating millions of people every year. The city of Düsseldorf would benefit from hosting the start of the Tour both economically and from the increased media exposure. Last but not least, it would be a great benefit for the sports enthusiasts in Düsseldorf, if besides the marathon, another international sporting event took place in our city. As a Düsseldorf company, we fully support the application to host the Tour de France 2017 in our home city."
Dr. Hans-Joachim Körber, Manager, former Chairman of the Board of METRO AG
"Becoming the host of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France would be of great value to the sports city of Düsseldorf. Viewers from all over the world would experience a world-class sporting event in a cosmopolitan city right up close. What's more, retailers, hotels and restaurants as well as public authorities would benefit from this media spectacle."
Otto Lindner, Spokesman of the Board, Destination Düsseldorf
"As a business association carrying out location marketing for Düsseldorf, we have been organising high-calibre events for many years to strengthen and further develop the positive image of our city both at home and abroad. For this reason, we would very much be in favour of the start of the Tour de France 2017 being held in Düsseldorf. Having a world-class sporting event in the state capital is a privilege which Düsseldorf will not only benefit from touristically. We could therefore envisage bringing forward the Düsseldorf France Festival 2017 so that we could support the city centre with a Francophile supporting programme."
Thorsten Lieber, Authorised Representative Stölting Service Group
"As we have been running a professional cycling team at a continental level for years now, both as a company and main sponsor, and will be completing the transition to professional continental level in 2016 with our Danish partner "CULT Energy", the start of the biggest bike race in the world in Germany is just in itself an exciting thing for us. The team will be called CULT Energy - Stölting Group next year, participate in well-known international races and also provide for some famous German cyclists. We are also active in providing various services in Düsseldorf with several Stölting companies and our subsidiary S.E.T. GmbH Security & Event Team and we deliver these with great dedication and corresponding success. We are working towards achieving more growth in this fantastic city and region."
Dr. Phillip Mels, Lawyer / Orth·Kluth legal firm
"The Tour de France is one of the biggest and most widely broadcast sporting events in the world. So to have the Grand Départ 2017 in Düsseldorf would mean a huge boost to the sports city of Düsseldorf. There is hardly any other sporting event where the television broadcast places more media focus on the venue and positions it centre stage. With creative ideas, all Düsseldorf citizens could be involved in the run-up to the Grand Départ 2017. A huge chance for Düsseldorf before, during and after the event as the experiences of other hosting cities have shown."
Frank Püttbach, Management BIA Group, Solingen
"As we have close ties to the region, we were delighted to hear about the city of Düsseldorf's application to host the start of the Tour de France 2017 in the Rhine metropolis. After all, an attractive region is also always an attractive place to live and work. The BIA Group strongly supports the initiative. We firmly believe that the start of the biggest sporting event in the world will have a positive impact that cannot be rated highly enough. And it won't just be the state capital that will have the chance to present itself to the world, but the entire region. That is of course the special feature of the Tour and distinguishes it from just a stadium event: live reporting for hours on end with aerial filming of the entire surroundings."
Jean Pütz, science journalist and television personality
"I am strongly in favour of the Tour de France having a stage in Düsseldorf. I have been following the Tour de France every year since my childhood and so I also know what massive global advertising value it offers for the stage locations. Düsseldorf deserves to have a stronger presence in the world. After all, it is not easy being so close to Cologne - apart from cartwheelers and "the longest bar in the world", the city lacks identifying features. So the city should definitely take this opportunity. What's more, it would be a big event and we all know how much the Düsseldorf citizens like to celebrate."
Dr. Alexander Schröder-Frerkes, Chairman of AmCham Germany in NRW and senior partner Germany Bird & Bird LLP
"Big sporting events such as hosting the Grand Départ of the Tour de France increase the market value of a city greatly. This market value has a decisive impact on the establishment of businesses in the city. Düsseldorf would therefore be well advised to take advantage of such an opportunity!"
Dr. med. Barbara Sturm, Doctor for Aesthetic Medicine at the Centre for Molecular Orthopaedics
"The Tour de France in Düsseldorf - that would be a wonderful international event for our city. We are fantastic hosts and can only benefit from the media interest, the sporty vibe and the value creation for hotels, catering and shops. The Tour is a fantastic opportunity for us."
Nicola Stratmann, Managing Partner Tulip Inn Event & Fair Hotel
"As a partner and patron of Düsseldorf sports, the Tulip Inn Event & Fair Hotel particularly welcomes the idea and the efforts of the city to attract an international sporting event to Düsseldorf. We need touristic and pleasant travel inducements so that our beautiful and cosmopolitan Düsseldorf becomes better known on the international stage and many people come and visit us from home and abroad."
Jürgen R. Thumann, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Heitkamp & Thumann Group and personal member of the German Olympic Sports Confederation
"Hosting the Grand Départ 2017 would be an outstanding opportunity to sharpen the profile of Düsseldorf as a sports city and to present the outstanding hosting qualities of our beautiful state capital to the world. I am sure that Düsseldorf will not only delight our guests but our citizens too!"
Philipp Wichert, General Manager Stockheim Group of Companies
"As an enthusiastic cyclist and sponsor of the sports city of Düsseldorf, the Stockheim Group of Companies supports the idea of bringing the Tour de France to Düsseldorf. The city would greatly benefit from hosting the Grand Départ and this would boost international awareness around the world."
Robertino Wild, General Manager Capricorn Group
"I always thought it was a shame that the biggest annual sporting event in the world had only taken place in Germany three times. Düsseldorf is the ideal place to carry out the Grand Départ in an appropriate setting. Numerous sports venues and many events such as the T3 triathlon or the METRO Group marathon demonstrate the sporting expertise of our city as a location. Here, sport is an authentic experience that is celebrated and encouraged. Düsseldorf, a city that encompasses athletes, amateur sports enthusiasts, those interested in sports, top sports clubs, sports organisations and sponsors, all demonstrating this city's sporting inclination. This is the right platform for the Tour de France. This is where this event with over 100 years of glorious history will become an experience for an entire sporting region."
Constantin & Clemens Wirschke, Retailer, luxury fashion house C. WIRSCHKE
"For us natives of Düsseldorf, to have the Tour de France in Düsseldorf would be an exciting home game. Our city is simply wonderful! Königsallee, the Old Town, Rhine - Düsseldorf all offer sporting enthusiasts and spectators from all over the world a magnificent backdrop. The people that live here in the Rhineland reflect serenity and joie de vivre, they appreciate the international flair of the city. Düsseldorf has already shown it can handle big events with the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011. The Tour de France would be the sporting highlight of the year - a dream that will hopefully soon come true."