Leo van Vliet upset by canceled Amstel Gold Race: “Blow hits hard”


Leo van Vliet upset by canceled Amstel Gold Race: “Hit hits hard”

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 8:29 PM

Race leader Leo van Vliet and the organization were 95 percent ready for the Amstel Gold Race, which would normally take place on October 10th. The fact that the match cannot continue due to the new corona measures was a hard hit.

“We have spent months trying to do everything as well as possible with the original Amstel Gold Race, without an audience at the start, the finish and the climbs,” Van Vliet began his story at the NOS. “Everything has not cooperated with the increase in corona in the Netherlands. Last Thursday we had a meeting with the mayors of the Heuvelland. Then we drew up plan B, that we would ride on a closed track. ”

That plan was to keep the Amstel Gold Race on the World Cup course of seventeen kilometers around the Cauberg. “That looked very good and was well received. We worked hard to get that all on paper in a few days with four hundred volunteers… made whole plans. On Monday we were back in Limburg, we picked up everything again, and then on Monday afternoon it started to drip a bit with new national measures. ”

Van Vliet concluded that the measures were unfavorable for the Amstel Gold Race. “On Tuesday we were together again with all parties. Then it turned out that there was a rule in it that was not good for us. Namely that the sports events must be held without an audience. The mayors and the security region then told us that it had become impossible and that applying for a permit is pointless. ”

We live in a strange time, the race director continues. “As an organization, we have been living in a very strange time for seven months. We were so hopeful. The committee said on Monday morning that we were 95 percent completed, during Monday we still had to hand in documents, we did other things. Then you are ten or eleven days before the start. So this blow will hit hard. ”

photo: Color Vos

“Look, you have been a cyclist, you have done many things in life. It is a bit of a grim story that eighteen months ago you had the most beautiful Amstel Gold Race ever with Mathieu van der Poel… ”For a moment the former cycling pro, who should have been in the first support car for the 25th time as race director, falls silent. “That you are here now and I have my worst in 25 years…. Unfortunately. But life goes on, of course. ”

He acknowledges that the financial consequences are also significant. “We had a lot of support from our sponsors, we said everything about ‘it will continue’. If the government says it cannot continue, it will stop. ” Still, he wants to give it his all next year. “We have one thing, it will be again in six months. Let’s hope we don’t have that discussion again in February. Just get a vaccine. But there are much worse things that happen. ”

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