Even as a youth and junior riders was Thurau as one of the largest West German talents in cycling. After the victory at the track - Cycling World Championships 1974 with the track four ( " Kilian - four " ), he joined in October of the same year as the barely 20 -year-old to professional cycling over and became a member of the TI- Raleigh team.
As a young professional Dietrich Thurau had to have some success and was among others twice a German road champion. In 1977 the 22 -year-old Thurau then equal to his first Tour de France are pressing the stamp: He won for the team TI- Raleigh driving the short prologue, was subsequently for 15 days the yellow jersey of the overall leader and stood by the mountain stages over the Pyrenees. Only in the Alps after the mountain time trial of the 15th stage from Morzine to Avoriaz had Thurau leave the leader's jersey to the eventual winner Bernard Thévenet. Overall, Thurau scored four more days achievements except the prologue. Among the severe stage in the Pyrenees, which led on the second day of the Tour of Auch on the Col du Tourmalet to Pau and the time trial stage 5, in which he succeeded, for a distance of only 30 kilometers record winner Eddy Merckx as a stage Second were to whole 50 seconds to distance. In the finish in Paris Thurau won as the best young rider and the white jersey came in the standings to fifth.
The success story Thuraus streets of France helped the cycling in Germany at short notice to an unprecedented popularity, comparable only with the tour fever, which should release Jan Ullrich's victory 20 years later. Didi Thurau was voted athlete of the year 1977, the then mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac, said of the " blond angel ": " Since Konrad Adenauer has not done so much for the German - French friendship as Dietrich Thurau. "
1977 was the best year in the career Thuraus. Moreover, he was still in Venezuela at the Road World Championship second behind the Italian Francesco Moser. In subsequent years, he could never build on his achievements. He won once each the classic Liège -Bastogne -Liège (1979) and Championship of Zurich (1978). At the Tour de France in 1979 he once again managed to win a stage. In the overall classification, he finished at the end of the tenth and finished second in the points classification green jersey.
In the same year Thurau came in second place in the road bike World Cup in Valkenburg Netherlands after January Raas. The three other participations Thuraus at the Tour de France in the 1980s all ended with premature tasks or disqualifications, 1985 because he had beaten a race commissioners.
The young age always really great career predicted failed to materialize at Thurau. He had to repeatedly deal with the accusation that it has not maxed out his talent, which was due mainly to the fact that he was committed for lucrative winter Six Days, instead of recovery for the road season.
Thurau ended his cycling career in 1989.
Especially in the later years of his career as a professional cyclist Thurau fell more and more frequently by doping violations. In 1980 he was expelled after three positive samples within a season from the Tour de France. 1987, this was done after a positive doping test one more time. After the end of his career he admitted to regular use of performance-enhancing agents.
The former professional cyclist is divorced and has two sons. Be eldest son Björn Thurau is also cyclist. Dietrich Thurau works after his cycling career as a professional tennis coach and as a real estate businessman.