500,000 in Valkenburg for Tour de France
4 July 2006, AMSTERDAM — More than 500,000 cycling fans were in Valkenburg in the south-east of the Netherlands on Tuesday to watch German Matthias Kessler win the third stage of the Tour de France.
4 July 2006
AMSTERDAM — More than 500,000 cycling fans were in Valkenburg in the south-east of the Netherlands on Tuesday to watch German Matthias Kessler win the third stage of the Tour de France.
This is the second time the famous cycling event has visited the municipality of Valkenburg aan de Geul. An estimated 600,000 people lined the course through the town in 1992 when the Tour last came to Valkenburg.
This time the riders entered the Netherlands at De Plank 36 kilometres before the end of the third stage of the race. The route took them over three hillocks. The last of the little hills is Cauberg, three kilometres before the finish line.
Motorbike police officers from Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg accompanied the riders over the entire course. The cooperation was made possible by the treaty the three Benelux countries signed in 2004. This allows police of any of the countries to operate in one of the neighbouring lands under specific circumstances.
Valkenburg is famous for its cycling events. The city hosted the UCI Road Cycling World Championship for a record four times: 1938, 1948, 1979 and 1998. The town's Cauberg district has also been the finish for the Amstel Gold Race since the 1990s.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news