Today UCI 2.2 category Baltic Chain Tour starts from Lahti city in Finland. Mostly known as skiing meka in Finland, Lahti with its hilly landscape is a great place to start the tour. Mostly on plain terrain raced Baltic cycling tour tradition started more than fifty years ago. Now in four countries organised cycling tour has six stages with more than thousand kilometres. The tour ends on Sunday in Lithuanian capital Vilnius. Before that the tour passes through Estonia and Latvia having also one rest day.
Most notable starters of tour are perhaps Tomas Vaitkus who belongs to UCI Pro Team Orica -GreenEDGE, but this time participates as Lithuanian National Team rider. David de la Fuente Rasilla, who wore polka-dot jersey in 2006 at Tour de France rides for Turkysh Continental team Torku Sekerspor. Most titled starter is Niels Alber, 2x world champion in cyclo-cross. Albert takes part of Baltic Chain Tour with his team BKCP – Powerplus, which has many talented cyclo-cross riders. Definitely many more riders are in the shape to be serious contenders for the overall victory. Most notable team this year is Kolss Cycling Team, which has won many tours this year and is the only of the participating teams to take part of the road cycling World Championships.
All stages are covered with live-commentary on the tour homepage. Estonian stages on 20th and 21st of August have video-broadcast as well. Altogether 21 teams start Baltic Chain Tour with 124 riders. Riders come from 19 different countries all over the world.
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. From August 2011, Baltic Chain Tour marks the anniversary of the Baltic Chain. It is also the longest annual cycling tour in the Northern Europe.