The Amstel Gold Race is canceled this year. The Dutch cycling classic, which was to take place on Saturday 10 October, has been canceled due to the tightened corona measures.
The Amstel Gold Race was already postponed in April due to the corona crisis and now the event is canceled at all. It is the first time since the first edition in 1966 that the course has been canceled.
Since August there has been frequent racing again and it seemed that the Gold Race would also take place. The tightened measures, announced by the cabinet on Monday evening, change the matter. These measures mean that no audience is allowed to be present at sports competitions and that is practically impossible at the Amstel Gold Race according to the local government.
“Until last Monday, we were 95 percent convinced that the Amstel Gold Race could continue with a closed course,” says Jan Schrijen, mayor of the municipality of Valkenburg aan de Geul, who responds on behalf of the municipalities involved.
“Now the three municipalities and the safety region have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to organize the Amstel Gold Race, even on a closed course, without spectators. Residents and holidaymakers staying in the area cannot be denied access. And that means that there is no guarantee that the course will be public-free. “
Overview: Winners Amstel Gold Race 2009-2019
Race director Van Vliet: ‘It is very disappointing’
The cancellation of the Amstel Race, which was won by Mathieu van der Poel last year, is a blow to the organization. “But we have no choice but to respect the trade-off,” said race director Leo van Vliet to the WE. “It sucks.”
Just like the mayors, Van Vliet had high hopes until Monday that the event would continue, but then on a modified course with laps of 16.9 kilometers, which would be shielded from the public. “We wanted to make this known to the world on Monday,” says Van Vliet. “But with the condition ‘no public’ it became an almost impossible task.”
The Amstel Gold Race is not the only Dutch cycling race to be affected by the stricter measures. On Tuesday it was announced that the Dutch rides of this week’s BinckBank Tour will not take place. The BinckBank Tour, which finishes Saturday in Geraardsbergen, Belgium, is originally a multi-day race through the Netherlands and Belgium.
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