Logo of the 1987 edition. Although the design changed during the years, it usually featured a white dove, representing peace.
|Date||1 May – 9 May|
|Region||Czechoslovakia / the Czech Republic
East Germany / Germany
|English name||Peace Race|
|Local name(s)||Friedensfahrt (German)
Závod míru (Czech)
Preteky mieru (Slovak)
Wyścig Pokoju (Polish)
Course de la Paix (French)
|Competition||UCI Europe Tour|
|Organiser||Rudé právo, Neues Deutschland
and Trybuna Ludu (until 1989)
|First winner||August Prosinek (YUG)|
|Most wins||Steffen Wesemann (GER) (5 wins)|
|Final winner||Giampaolo Cheula (ITA)|
The Peace Race (German: Friedensfahrt, Czech: Závod míru, Slovak: Preteky mieru, Russian: Велогонка Мира (Velogonka Mira), Polish: Wyścig Pokoju [ˈvɨɕt͡ɕik pɔˈkɔju], French: Course de la Paix, Italian: Corsa della Pace, Romanian: Cursa Păcii) was an annual multiple stage bicycle race held in the Eastern Bloc states of Czechoslovakia, East Germany and Poland. First organized in 1948, it was originally created with the intent of relieving tensions existing between Central European countries following the interwar period and World War II.
Maintained by the three states ruling Communist parties' newspapers (Rudé právo, Neues Deutschland and Trybuna Ludu), it was dubbed to be the "world's biggest amateur cycling race" and "Tour de France of the East".
The first Peace Race was held in 1948, when there were two editions connecting cities of Warsaw and Prague. The one to Prague was won by August Prosinek, the other one to Warsaw by Alexander Zoric, both from Yugoslavia. During the Cold War the Peace Race was known as the 'Tour de France of the East'.
Because cyclists from the Eastern Bloc were not allowed to become professional it was an amateur race. It attracted the best cyclists from communist countries, plus guest teams from non-communist countries. Communist-bloc riders tended to dominate the event, but there were exceptions: Briton Ian Steel won the 1952 race, and the British League of Racing Cyclists team also won the team competition – the first time that both classifications had gone to the same nation.
An Indian team took part in the race in 1952, 1954 and 1955. Indian racers were popular with the public, although they were not competitive. In 1954, Supravat Chravati completed the race in 77th position, 19 hours and 16 seconds after the winner. In 1955, Dhana Singh finished 28 hours, 24 minutes and 38 seconds after the winner.
The most successful riders in the Peace Race were: Steffen Wesemann from Germany who won the race five times; Ryszard Szurkowski from Poland and Uwe Ampler from East Germany each won the race four times. Gustav-Adolf Schur, who won the race twice, was voted the most popular East German sportsman ever in 1989.
After the end of the Cold War the race lost its significance. No race was held in 2005, and the 2006 race turned out to be the last.
In 2006, the 58th edition took place on May 13–20. It started in Austria's Linz and via Czech Republic headed to Germany where it ended in Hannover. No capital city of these countries were crossed during the race.
After 2006, the race has been cancelled from the cycling calendar.
In April/May 2012 Alan Buttler organised a re-run of the 1955 Peace Race as a tribute to his father, Alf Buttler, who was the GB cycling team mechanic for many events in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. He was joined by former peace riders including Gustav-Adolf Schur, Geoff Wiles, John Woodburn, Alan Jacob, and Axel Peschel.
Junior Peace Race
A Junior Peace Race was first held in 1965 and held again the following year. After a hiatus it was revived in 1974 and has been held every year since, continuing after the senior race was no longer organised. Several riders who won the junior race have gone on to senior success, including Roman Kreuziger, Sr., Roman Kreuziger, Jr., Denis Menchov, Fabian Cancellara, Peter Velits, Tanel Kangert and Michal Kwiatkowski. An Under 23 Peace Race was added in 2013.
Peace race U23
List of races
|Stages||Overall winner||Winning team|
|1948||Warsaw - Prague||1104||7||August Prosinek||Poland I [1/9]|
|1948||Prague - Warsaw||842||5||Alexander Zoric||Poland I [2/9]|
|1949||Prague - Warsaw||1259||8||Jan Veselý||France II|
|1950||Warsaw - Prague||1539||9||Willi Emborg||Czechoslovakia [1/5]|
|1951||Prague - Warsaw||1544||9||Kaj Allan Olsen||Czechoslovakia [2/5]|
|1952||Warsaw - Berlin - Prague||2135||12||Ian Steel||United Kingdom|
|1953||Bratislava - Berlin - Warsaw||2231||12||Christian Pedersen||East Germany [01/10]|
|1954||Warsaw - Berlin - Prague||2051||13||Eluf Dalgaard||Czechoslovakia [3/5]|
|1955||Prague - Berlin - Warsaw||2214||13||Gustav-Adolf Schur [1/2]||Czechoslovakia [4/5]|
|1956||Warsaw - Berlin - Prague||2212||12||Stanisław Krolak||Soviet Union [01/20]|
|1957||Prague - Berlin - Warsaw||2220||12||Nencho Khristov||East Germany [02/10]|
|1958||Warsaw - Berlin - Prague||2210||12||Piet Damen||Soviet Union [02/20]|
|1959||Berlin - Prague - Warsaw||2057||13||Gustav-Adolf Schur [2/2]||Soviet Union [03/20]|
|1960||Prague - Warsaw - Berlin||2290||13||Erich Hagen||East Germany [03/10]|
|1961||Warsaw - Berlin - Prague||2435||13||Yuriy Melikhov||Soviet Union [04/20]|
|1962||Berlin - Prague - Warsaw||2407||14||Gainan Saydkhushin||Soviet Union [05/20]|
|1963||Prague - Warsaw - Berlin||2568||15||Klaus Ampler||East Germany [04/10]|
|1964||Warsaw - Berlin - Prague||2246||14||Jan Smolík||East Germany [05/10]|
|1965||Berlin - Prague - Warsaw||2318||15||Gennady Lebedev||Soviet Union [06/20]|
|1966||Prague - Warsaw - Berlin||2340||15||Bernard Guyot||Soviet Union [07/20]|
|1967||Warsaw - Berlin - Prague||2307||16||Marcel Maes||Poland [3/9]|
|1968||Berlin - Prague - Warsaw||2352||14||Axel Peschel||Poland [4/9]|
|1969||Warsaw - Berlin||2036||15||Jean-Pierre Danguillaume||East Germany [06/10]|
|1970||Prague - Warsaw - Berlin||1976||15||Ryszard Szurkowski [1/4]||Poland [5/9]|
|1971||Warsaw - Berlin - Prague||1895||14||Ryszard Szurkowski [2/4]||Soviet Union [08/20]|
|1972||Berlin - Prague - Warsaw||2025||14||Vlastimil Moravec||Soviet Union [09/20]|
|1973||Prague - Warsaw - Berlin||2076||P, 16, E||Ryszard Szurkowski [3/4]||Poland [6/9]|
|1974||Warsaw - Berlin - Prague||1806||14||Stanisław Szozda||Poland [7/9]|
|1975||Berlin - Prague - Warsaw||1915||P, 13||Ryszard Szurkowski [4/4]||Soviet Union [10/20]|
|1976||Prague - Warsaw - Berlin||1974||P, 14||Hans-Joachim Hartnick||Soviet Union [11/20]|
|1977||Warsaw - Berlin - Prague||1648||13||Aavo Pikkuus||Soviet Union [12/20]|
|1978||Berlin - Prague - Warsaw||1796||P, 12||Alexander Averin||Soviet Union [13/20]|
|1979||Prague - Warsaw - Berlin||1942||P, 14||Sergei Sukhoruchenkov [1/2]||Soviet Union [14/20]|
|1980||Warsaw - Berlin - Prague||2095||P, 14||Yuriy Barinov||Soviet Union [15/20]|
|1981||Berlin - Prague - Warsaw||1887||P, 14||Shakhid Zagretdinov||Soviet Union [16/20]|
|1982||Prague - Warsaw - Berlin||1941||P, 12||Olaf Ludwig [1/2]||East Germany [07/10]|
|1983||Warsaw - Berlin - Prague||1899||P, 12||Falk Boden||East Germany [08/10]|
|1984||Berlin - Prague - Warsaw||1689||P, 11||Sergei Sukhoruchenkov [2/2]||Soviet Union [17/20]|
|1985||Prague - Moscow - Warsaw - Berlin||1712||P, 12||Lech Piasecki||Soviet Union [18/20]|
|1986||Kiev - Warsaw - Berlin - Prague||2138||P, 15||Olaf Ludwig [2/2]||Soviet Union [19/20]|
|1987||Berlin - Prague - Warsaw||1987||P, 14||Uwe Ampler [1/4]||East Germany [09/10]|
|1988||Bratislava - Katowice - Berlin||2008||P, 13||Uwe Ampler [2/4]||Soviet Union [20/20]|
|1989||Warsaw - Berlin - Prague||1927||12||Uwe Ampler [3/4]||East Germany [10/10]|
|1990||Berlin - Slušovice - Bielsko-Biała||1595||P, 11||Ján Svorada||Czechoslovakia [5/5]|
|1991||Prague - Warsaw||1261||P, 9||Viktor Rakshinsky||Poland [8/9]|
|1992||Berlin - Karpacz - Mladá Boleslav||1348||P, 9||Steffen Wesemann [1/5]||Germany|
|1993||Tábor - Nový Bor||1342||P, 9||Jaroslav Bílek||Czech Republic [1/2]|
|1994||Tábor - Trutnov||1354||P, 9||Jens Voigt||Czech Republic [2/2]|
|1995||České Budějovice - Oberwiesenthal - Brno||1379||P, 10||Pavel Padrnos||Poland [9/9]|
|1996||Brno - Żywiec - Leipzig||1703||P, 10||Steffen Wesemann [2/5]||Team NE Telekom|
|1997||Potsdam - Żywiec - Brno||1629||P, 10||Steffen Wesemann [3/5]||Team Deutsche Telekom [1/2]|
|1998||Poznań - Karlovy Vary - Erfurt||1591||10||Uwe Ampler [4/4]||Team Mroz [1/3]|
|1999||Znojmo - Polkowice - Magdeburg||1613||10||Steffen Wesemann [4/5]||Team Mroz [2/3]|
|2000||Hannover - Kudowa Zdrój - Prague||1608||10||Piotr Wadecki||Team Nürnberger|
|2001||Łódź - Plzeň - Potsdam||1611||10||Jakob Piil||-no competition|
|2002||České Budějovice - Chemnitz - Warsaw||1470||10||Ondřej Sosenka||Team Mroz [3/3]|
|2003||Olomouc - Wałbrzych - Erfurt||1552||9||Steffen Wesemann [5/5]||Team CCC Polsat|
|2004||Brussels - Wrocław - Prague||1580||9||Michele Scarponi||T-Mobile Team [2/2]|
|2006||Linz - Karlovy Vary - Hannover||1283||8||Giampaolo Cheula||Team Unibet.com|
Most individual wins
Cyclists with three wins at least listed
- 5 wins: Steffen Wesemann
- 4 wins: Ryszard Szurkowski, Uwe Ampler
- 8 wins: Olaf Ludwig
- 3 wins: Ryszard Szurkowski
Mountain climbers competition:
- 3 wins: Sergei Sukhoruchenkov, Uwe Ampler, Jaroslav Bílek
Most team wins
- 20 wins: Soviet Union
- 10 wins: East Germany
- 9 wins: Poland
- 5 wins: Czechoslovakia
- 3 wins: Team Mroz
Winners by country
Individual overall competitions were won by cyclist from following countries:
- 12 wins: East Germany
- 10 wins: Soviet Union
- 7 wins: Poland, Germany
- 5 wins: Denmark
- 4 wins: Czechoslovakia
- 3 wins: Czech Republic
- 2 wins: SFR Yugoslavia, France, Italy
- 1 win: United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Belgium
- Dubiański (2001), p. 50
- "Wyścig Pokoju po raz drugi w historii odwołany" [Peace Race cancelled for the second time in history]. Wirtualna Polska. 20 December 2006. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
- Ferenc, Jakub (2008). Sport w służbie polityki. Wyścig Pokoju 1948–1989 [Sport used by politics. The Peace Race 1948–1989] (in Polish). Warsaw: Trio, Collegium Civitas. p. 102. ISBN 978-83-7436-160-6.
- "Winners list". Course de la Paix Juniors / Junior Peace Race. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- "Závodu Míru U23" [Peace Race U23]. ttvsportgroup.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- "UCI 2015 list of NCup stage races" [Peace Race U23].
- Tuszyński, Bogdan (1989). Wyścig Pokoju 1948–1988 [The Peace Race 1948–1988] (in Polish). Warsaw: Sport i Turystyka. ISBN 83-217-2662-3.
- Ferenc, Jakub (2008). Sport w służbie polityki. Wyścig Pokoju 1948–1989 [Sport used by politics. The Peace Race 1948–1989] (in Polish). Warsaw: Trio, Collegium Civitas. ISBN 978-83-7436-160-6.
- Dubiański, Wacław (December 2001). "Wyścig (nie)pokoju" [The (Un)peaceful Race] (PDF). Biuletyn IPN (in Polish). Institute of National Remembrance (11/2001): 48–53.