Dietrich Thurau

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Dietrich Thurau
Dietrich Thurau 20060809 006.jpg
Personal information
Full name Dietrich Thurau
Born (1954-11-09) 9 November 1954 (age 60)
Frankfurt, West Germany
Team information
Discipline Road and Track
Role Rider
Professional team(s)
1974–1977
1978–1979
1980
1981–1982
1982–1983
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1987–1988
1989
TI-Raleigh
IJsboerke
Puch - Sem
Hoonved
Toshiba
Del Tongo - Colnago
Portas
Hitachi - Splendor
Supermercati Brianzoli
Roland - Skala
Panasonic - Isostar
Brügelmann
Major wins
Liège–Bastogne–Liège
6 stages Tour de France
Infobox last updated on
1 July 2008

Dietrich ("Didi") Thurau (born 9 November 1954 in Frankfurt) is a retired German professional road bicycle racer. His biggest career achievements include winning the one-day classic, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, his home country's Deutschland Tour and surprising the field at the 1977 Tour de France by capturing four stages and holding the yellow jersey from the prologue for 15 days. Thurau did win the maillot blanc as best young rider although he lost the overall lead to eventual winner Bernard Thévenet.

Thurau was German pursuit champion three times and won 29 six-day races.

Career[edit]

He won the German National Road Race in 1975 and 1976.[1] After his victory in the points classification in the Vuelta a España and a fourth place in the general classification in the Vuelta a España in 1976, Thurau was seen as a talented rider, but not seen as a rider for the general classification. This changed when he won the prologue 1977 Tour de France, won time trials and mountain stages, keeping the lead until far in the race, finishing fifth in the overall classification and won the young rider classification.

Thurau signed a contract to ride the 1978 season as a team leader at Ijsboerke. Before his contract started, but after he signed it, he rode the 1977 UCI Road World Championships. Seven kilometers before the finish, he was away together with Francesco Moser, and Moser punctured. To the surprise of commentators, including the coach of the French team Jacques Anquetil and Thurau's team leader Peter Post, Thurau waited for Moser, and was beaten in the sprint by Moser. This caused rumours that Thurau had sold the championship to Moser; it later became clear that Thurau's new bosses at Ijsboerke did not want Thurau to ride in the rainbow jersey, but wanted him to keep his sponsored jersey.[2]

Thurau's primary goals for the next season became the 1978 Giro d'Italia and the 1978 UCI Road World Championships, and his team skipped the 1978 Tour de France, because they felt there were too many mountain finishes for a rider like Thurau. Although Thurau won two stages in the 1978 Giro, it did not go as expected, as he had to abandon the race in the tenth stage, when he had already given up all hopes for the general classification.

In 1979, Thurau won Liège–Bastogne–Liège, and again came second in the 1979 UCI Road World Championships, but he was no longer seen as able to win a grand tour, and he changed teams. He continued as a professional cyclist for several years, but did not win any major races.

Doping[edit]

Thurau tested positive for stimulants after Stage 8 of the 1987 Tour de France. He was fined 5,000 FF (£500), incurred a 10 minute time penalty, placed last on the stage and was given a one month suspended ban.[3] However, by the time the positive result was revealed, Thurau had already abandoned the Tour.

After he had retired, in 1989, he gave an interview to the Bild newspaper, in Germany, where he revealed he had doped throughout his career, including the use of Amphetamines, Testosterone and Cortisone.[4]

Personal life[edit]

In 1998, Thurau was fined 20,000 DM for forgery.[5] In 2012, it was reported that he had embezzled 49,000 EUR in insurance benefits, which were meant for his father, Helmut, to pay for his nursing home. Instead, Thurau kept the money. He was convicted of the offence and was fined 39,900 EUR.[5]

His son Björn Thurau is also a racing cyclist, whilst Björn's younger brother Urs is a tennis player who is coached by Dietrich.[6]

Major achievements[edit]

1975
Tour de Picardie
GP de Fourmies
1976
1st, Points classification in the Vuelta a España
Germany German Road Race Champion
1977
Tour de France
Winner prologue and stages 2, 5b, 16 and 22a
winner young rider classification
3rd place points classification
1978
Winner prologue and stage 4 – Giro d'Italia
Züri-Metzgete
3rd overall – Tour of Belgium
Étoile de Bessèges
1979
Liège–Bastogne–Liège
1st overall and Prologue (ITT) win – Deutschland Tour
Winner stage 19 – Tour de France
Six Days of Munich (with Patrick Sercu)
1984
Six Days of Bremen (with Albert Fritz)
1986
Six Days of Bremen (with Josef Kristen)
Six Days of Munich (with Danny Clark)
1987
Six Days of Bremen (with Danny Clark)
Six Days of Munich (with Urs Freuler)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Championship, Road, Elite, Germany". Cycling Archives. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  2. ^ de Vries, Guide (1 October 1998). "Spel van list en bedrog" (in Dutch). NRC. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Wide Eyed & Legless - Inside the Tour de France". Jeff Connor. 1988. ISBN 0-671-69937-7. 
  4. ^ "Thurau s'est dopé". Le Soir. 9 February 1989. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  5. ^ a b "Rad-Star Didi Thurau zockte eigenen Vater ab". Bild. 27 January 2012. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  6. ^ McGrath, Andy (15 August 2013). "Björn With It". Rouleur. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Germany Gregor Braun
German Sportsman of the Year
1977
Succeeded by
Germany Eberhard Gienger