Dietrich Thurau

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Dietrich Thurau Road cycling
Dietrich Thurau (2006)
Dietrich Thurau (2006)
To person
Nickname Didi Thurau
Date of birth 9th November 1954 (age 65)
nation GermanyGermany Germany
discipline Street
End of career 1989
Gent – ​​Wevelgem
Tour de France
Team (s)
1981–05 / 1982
05-07 / 1982
Kotter’s Racing Team
Del Tongo-Colnago
Hitachi – Splendor – Sunair
Supermercati Brianzoli
Most important successes
Liège – Bastogne – Liège 1979
silver Individual road races 1977 & 1979
Thurau (left) as Vice World Champion at the Road World Championships in 1979

Dietrich "Didi" Thurau (born November 9, 1954 in Frankfurt am Main , Schwanheim ) is a former German cyclist .

Cycling career

Even as a youth and junior rider , Thurau was considered one of the greatest West German talents in cycling . His first major success was winning the stage race Dusika Tour in 1972, the most important stage race for juniors in Austria.

After winning the train Cycling World Championships 1974 with the train of four ( " Kilian-four "), he joined in October of the same year as nearly 20 years of professional cycling on and became a member of the TI-Raleigh team .

As a young professional, Dietrich Thurau had some successes and was a. a. twice German road champion. In 1977, the 22-year-old Thurau was able to put his stamp on his first Tour de France : He won the short prologue while driving for the TI-Raleigh team , then wore the overall leader's yellow jersey for 15 days and also survived the mountain stages over the Pyrenees. Only in the Alps after the mountain time trial of the 15th stage from Morzine to Avoriaz did Thurau have to hand over the leadership jersey to the eventual winner, Bernard Thévenet . In total, Thurau achieved four other daily successes in addition to the prologue. These included the difficult Pyrenean stage , which already led from Auch over the Col du Tourmalet to Pau on the second day , and the individual time trial of the 5th stage, in which he managed to beat the record winner Eddy Merckx by 50 over a distance of just 30 kilometers Seconds to distance. At the finish in Paris , Thurau finished fifth in the overall ranking and won the junior ranking . During the entire tour he led the junior competition and wore the white jersey after losing the yellow jersey, making him the record holder of the white jersey among German starters behind Jan Ullrich.

Thurau's successes on the streets of France helped cycling in Germany to achieve undreamt-of popularity in the short term, comparable only to the public attention that Jan Ullrich's victory would trigger 20 years later. Thurau was elected Sportsman of the Year 1977 , the then mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac , said of the "blond angel": "Since Konrad Adenauer nobody has done as much for the Franco-German friendship as Dietrich Thurau."

1977 was the strongest year in Thurau's career. He was also second in Venezuela at the World Cup behind the Italian Francesco Moser . In the following years he was never able to build on his achievements. He won the classic Liège – Bastogne – Liège (1979) and Zurich championship (1978) each . At the Tour de France 1979 he managed to win another stage. He finished tenth in the overall standings and came second in the points classification for the green jersey .

In the same year Thurau came second at the World Championships in Valkenburg, the Netherlands, behind Jan Raas . Thurau's three other participations in the Tour de France in the 1980s all ended with premature tasks or disqualifications, in 1985 because he had beaten up a race steward.

Thurau was the German driver who started the Giro d'Italia most often . In his six starts, he finished the tour four times and won two stages. His best placement came in 1983 when he was fifth.

The really great career that was always forecast at a young age did not materialize at Thurau. He had to deal again and again with the accusation that he had not exhausted his talent, which was mainly justified by the fact that he was committed to the lucrative six-day winter races instead of regenerating for the road season.

Thurau ended his cycling career in 1989.

Doping and disciplinary matters

Especially in the later years of his career as a professional cyclist, Thurau was noticed more and more frequently for doping violations . In 1980 he tested positive at Gent-Wevelgem and was fined 1000 Swiss francs . A second positive test at the Tour de Romandie was not punished because of a formal error. At the German Championships in 1980 there was a positive A sample , but the B sample was negative. Thurau received a 10-minute time penalty for a doping violation at the Tour de France in 1987 , was suspended for a month and had to pay a fine of 5,000 francs. After the end of his career, he admitted regular use of performance enhancers.

Thurau was excluded from the 1985 Tour de France after beating a commissioner who had given him a time penalty for slipstreaming in a time trial.


The former professional cyclist is divorced and has two sons, Björn and Urs , who are also racing cyclists. After his cycling career, Dietrich Thurau works as a professional tennis trainer and real estate agent. He lives with his partner in Switzerland.

Grand Tour placements

Grand Tour 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987
Yellow jersey Vuelta a España 4th - - - - - - 36 - - - -
Maglia Rosa Giro d'Italia - - DNF - - 14th DNF 5 - - 18th 52
Yellow jersey Tour de France - 5 - 10 DNF - DNF - - DSQ - DNF
Legend: DNF: did not finish , abandoned or withdrawn from the race due to timeout. DSQ: disqualification.


Web links

Commons : Dietrich Thurau  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Torsten Hampel: The quick yellow. In: Der Tagesspiegel . 4th July 2003.
  2. Jürgen Löhle: The Tour de France. German professionals and their successes . Delius-Klasing, Bielefeld 2007, ISBN 978-3-667-10922-4 , p. 158 .
  3. Kurt Graunke, Walter Lemke, Wolfgang Rupprecht: Giants from then and now . Edition Sedina, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-9803273-0-2 , p. 74 .
  4. ^ Doping cases of German cyclists. Retrieved September 20, 2019 .
  5. A Chronicle of Shame. In: May 11, 2010, accessed August 10, 2018 .
  6. Jeff Connor: Wide Eyed & Legless - Inside the Tour de France . 1988, ISBN 0-671-69937-7 .
  7. Didi Thurau: "We all used to dop". In: . May 23, 2007, accessed August 10, 2018 .
  8. Tour exclusions: Thurau-Ausraster and bottle throwing. In: July 5, 2017, accessed August 25, 2020 .
  9. Hannes Schmitz: “Fat tire race”: 43 years after Didi Thurau's victory, the son wins. In: July 2, 2018, accessed July 2, 2018 .