Grand Départ

Mayor Thomas Geisel met fellow mayors for the Tour summit II

The state capital and the region are offering a varied programme for the Grand Départ Düsseldorf 2017

The Tour is on its way - and the region is looking forward to it. In the Tour towns from Düsseldorf to Aachen the last preparations are under way.

Editing: Jäckel-Engstfeld, Kerstin

Not only in the host city of Düsseldorf, but also in the Tour towns of the region, the preparations for the events surrounding the Grand Départ Düsseldorf 2017 are running at full speed. The municipalities located on the route of the 2nd stage are eagerly awaiting the start of the Tour de France. At the second Tour summit, on Thursday Düsseldorf’s Mayor Thomas Geisel and his fellow mayors presented the programme in their towns.

Hotspots with programme in Düsseldorf
The state capital Düsseldorf is already providing various hotspots for the 1st stage on Saturday, 1 July with a stage programme, LED transmissions and catering offers along the route. For the 2nd stage, which starts in Düsseldorf and even passes through the state capital a second time in the course of the race, the town is also organising a varied programme along the route. On top of this, on both days there will be events by sports clubs, district initiatives and commercial providers – more than 60 clubs, organisations and individuals have registered in the office for civic engagement with their actions for 2 July.

Mayor Thomas Geisel: "Whether it’s sport, join-in activities, relaxed picnics, parties or live music: Düsseldorf is celebrating the return of the Tour de France to Germany with a diverse programme that offers something for everyone. In addition, on both days, the races can be followed on a total of ten LED screens. We have put together the most important information and programme items in an extensive programme guide."

This will be published on 10 June 2017 and is available free of charge in the town hall and the citizens’ centres, as well as online under

And the region is also celebrating on 2 July with

Mayor Christoph Schultz, Erkrath: "The Rhineland has always been Francophile. That is why the Tour de France fits so perfectly into our sporting region. At the site where the Neanderthaler was found, we have therefore decided on a 'French morning get-together' as a side event, which is above all aimed at the people of our town and the neighbouring districts. At the town hall, from 10.00 am on, there will be good French food, good drinks, music and talk on the stage and an exciting programme for children."

Mayor Thomas Dinkelmann, Mettmann: "I am delighted by the great anticipation of the Tour de France here in Mettmann and the commitment with which citizens, clubs and organisations are preparing for this great event. The people of Mettmann will be celebrating a great party along the route of the Tour, the likes of which the town has never seen before." Further information at:

Mayor Klaus Pesch, Ratingen: "In Ratingen, the starting shot for the attractive supporting programme has already been fired, which means: in the run up to the actual cycling race, various events such as the current museum exhibition, an open-air theatre production, the 3rd Ratingen fish market under the motto 'France' and the shop window contest 'Vive le Tour' are whetting people’s appetite for bicycle racing. In addition, 44 bicycles, which were creatively decorated as part of a school competition, now embellish the townscape of Ratingen. On the Tour weekend itself, the popular RatingenFestival is to be held around the market square, and great actions are to take place along the race route. As you can see: Ratingen is looking forward to the Tour de France and is very well prepared!"

Mayor Angelika Mielke-Westerlage, Meerbusch: "Meerbusch is eagerly awaiting the start of this great sporting event. It is a great experience for our citizens that the best of the cycling scene will be passing our city zone and the town hall on Dorfstraße during the Grand Départ. We want to celebrate 2 July as the Meerbusch Tour day with a big family festival of sport and present Meerbusch and our beautiful region to the world. The Tour also offers us an excellent opportunity to promote the bicycle as an attractive means of transport. It also provides further impetus for our 50-year twinning with the Breton municipality of Fouesnant."

Mayor Reiner Breuer, Neuss: "When the Tour de France rolls through Neuss, we will be hosting a huge event weekend under the title 'Neuss on Tour' for the whole family. We are using the passing of the world’s most important cycling race as an excellent backdrop to draw attention to an important concern of our town, the 'strengthening of local mobility'. In Neuss there will then be open-air concerts from classic to rock, public viewing, a historical town festival on many squares, numerous e-mobility activities, a cycling tour of the bicycle region Rhineland, a bike service point with bike hire, and the shops in the town centre will be open. We will be setting up contemporary charging points for e-bikes and pedelecs, children can let off steam on a bike course and booths will be providing information about the fast bike track for everyday and about cycling as a sport."

Mayor Dr. Ulrike Nienhaus, town of Kaarst: "Kaarst can’t wait for its 'Tour hautnah' (Tour up close). This is the motto of our family festival on 2 July when the peloton rides through the Kaarst district of Büttgen. The Tour is to be a great experience for all the people of Kaarst.
With a stage programme, a children’s bicycle race and numerous exhibitors from the world of cycling, the whole day is dedicated to the Tour. In the past weeks and months, we have seen how much the people of Kaarst are looking forward to the Tour. Numerous supporters and sponsors from the township have made the organisation of the 'Tour hautnah' at all possible. With the art exhibition 'Helden der Landstraße' (heroes of the country road), the unveiling of a bronze sculpture by the artist Dieter Patt and our own film, the town has also shown that the Tour is more than just a bike race."

Mayor Marc Venten, Korschenbroich: "When the world's most famous cycle race passes through the township of Korschenbroich on 2 July, then the local people will be 'op tour', fevering and celebrating. The cyclists will be passing through Kleinenbroich and Korschenbroich for around seven kilometres on the L 381 in the direction of Mönchengladbach. Anyone who wants to, can get right up close here. In the historical centre of Korschenbroich there will be a 'Fête de la Fontaine' (fountain festival) on that day with stage programme and live music, with photographic and children’s activities, pétanque and Sunday opening for the shops. The 26th Niederrheinische Radwandertag (Lower Rhine cycling day) also passes through the town on 2 July on two routes - with stamping points in the historic centres of Liedberg and Korschenbroich. With these attractions, we are well positioned for the day of the great cycling event and look forward to having the Tour as our guest in Korschenbroich on 2 July."

Mayor Hans Wilhelm Reiners, Mönchengladbach: "Mönchengladbach is fired up for the Tour, which will reach a climax with the first sprint in the 2nd stage. The mood is very good, and increasing numbers of protagonists want to add to the Francophile atmosphere at the side of the road. The three hotspots in the area of the sprint track and around the Kaiser-Friedrich Hall, the French market at Tellmann-Platz in Rheydt and a family festival at the market square in Wickrath contribute to this. Under the motto 'Tour fever', the town is planning several public events with live performances and a family entertainment programme on 2 July".

Mayor Axel Fuchs, Jülich: "As mayor of the historic fortified town of Jülich with the Napoleonic bridgehead as an important French monument, I am greatly looking forward to the Tour de France. At the entrance to the town, three columns of water in the colours of France will welcome the cyclists. The modern research town greets the Tour de France, among other things, with the solar thermal power plant of the DLR, whose employees will be working on Sunday so that the second sun shines over Jülich. Aachen University of Applied Sciences, Jülich Campus, also greets the Tour with a hot-air balloon in the Stadtgarten of the Brückenkopf-Park. On two event areas - around the town hall and on the market square - visitors can find information, games, bike courses, music, catering and live broadcasting of the Tour and spend their day there. A further connection to the Grand Départ in Düsseldorf is provided by three illuminated benches which will be installed on the green area at Schwanenteich during the Tour weekend, which build an artistic 'light' bridge to Düsseldorf."

Mayor Arno Nelles, Würselen: "Here in Würselen, numerous events are taking place around the Tour, making the day a real happening. As an international major event, the Tour will again be used by us to point to Europe as an important and contemporary theme. The initiative 'Pulse of Europe', for example, intends to use the presence of many media to promote the European idea.
At the same time, in the framework of a project, pupils of Würselen’s schools will be able to express their solidarity with their counterparts in our many partner cities in a way that is well covered by the media. We will use the day of the Tour to advertise for and with the cross-border and connecting character of this unique event for those things that all the people involved have in common."

Mayor Marcel Philipp, Aachen: "We are looking forward to the Tour in Aachen and will be celebrating a cycling festival all weekend. On Saturday, we will already see top-class sport at the traditional amateur race 'Rund um Dom und Rathaus' (around the cathedral and the town hall). Like on Sunday at the Tour, the race goes over the cobblestone streets of the old town. Everywhere in the city centre, bands will be playing, the public squares will become the stage for a lively and colourful programme. And at the market there will be a video screen with constant live images of the Tour de France. Welcome to the Tour de France in Aix-la-Chapelle!"