GRZEGORZ MAJCHRZAK: Peace (and Unrest) Race 1969

The Peace Race was the biggest and most prestigious cycling sport event organised by the so-called People´s Democracy countries (Polish People´s Republic, Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, and German Democratic Republic) since 1948. Invasion of the Warsaw Pact armies in Czechoslovakia in August 1968 brought not only the suppression of the Prague Spring, but also complications in organising the race. Its 21st year which took place in May 1968 was already organised in a smaller size. Preparation of the following year in 1969 was complicated by the Czechoslovak organisers not willing to take part in this cycling event, caused by the fact that the Polish army also took part in the invasion. The result was that Czechoslovakia did not bring its national team to the start of the Peace Race in 1969 and the peloton crossed its territory through one stage race only. This contribution deals with the event organisation development and the complications deriving from the lack of will of Czechoslovak sport and political representatives, to participate in organising the biggest cycling event in the whole Soviet bloc.