Today second year in a row Baltic Chain Tour starts in three Baltic Countries. The tour that got it’s name from a historic event from 23rd of August 23 years ago – Baltic Chain*, takes riders from Tallinn, Estonia to Vilnius, Lithuania in five long days. Two stages are in Estonia, one in Latvia and two last stages are in southern part of the Baltics, in Lithuania.
Baltic Chain Tour starts in front of Estonian Parliament today at noon. Welcoming words say both Speaker of the Parliament Ms Ene Ergma and Minister of Culture Mr Rein Lang. “I am terribly happy that the tour starts in front of such an important institution and I am most pleased that the Speaker of the Parliament and Minister of Culture are coming to honour the riders, “ said main organiser of Estonian stages Mr Allar Tõnissaar.
This year’s tour welcomes eighteen teams from fourteen different countries with more than hundred riders. Baltic Chain Tour is first time organised as UCI 2.2 category cycling tour and it is more popular among teams than the organisers could have expected. „I have to say we were forced to reject more applications than we were able to accept. It is of course a pity, but I see much positive in it too – the tour is stronger than ever and hopefully we will see it on stages too, admitted Mr Allar Tõnissaar.
Baltic tours have been held since 1950’s and it’s been widely popular in three Baltic States. The organisers in three countries hope to rise the tour category to pro tour in the coming years. Cycling is already widely popular in the Baltics, but there is hope that higher catecory tours will attract more people to cycling. This year’s tour can be followed live on tour homepage at www.balticchaintour.com
*Three Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – demonstrated their solidarity in their quest for independence by forming a human chain on August 23, 1989. Approximately 2 million people joined their hands that day. The extraordinary event drew global attention and finally led to the Baltic States regaining their independence.