Race director Van Vliet is crying about scrapping Amstel Gold Race | Cycling


“But there is a small windfall: the next edition is already in six months. We put our shoulders back to that ”, the Westlander said disappointed. “And there are much worse things happening around us.”

Pure force majeure. Otherwise it cannot be explained that the scrapping of the country’s only one-day top race. “If the government says that it is not possible, then it will stop,” it said sadly from the mouth of the former professional who can now call himself race director of the race in South Limburg for 25 years. He made his announcement late Wednesday afternoon, while the news was already whispered here and there in the morning hours.

“We have spent months doing everything as well as possible. Unfortunately, the developments surrounding the corona virus did not cooperate. The new measures issued by the government contained a phrase that was wrong for us: sporting events must take place without an audience. This has also been told by the Safety Region and the mayors. That’s just the way it is. We cannot get over a government decision, no matter how hopeful we were. The entire organization was 95 percent complete. Then a decision like that to cancel the Amstel, very raw on your roof ”, he shows in front of the camera of the WE know.

What if the mayors of Vlissingen, Sittard-Geleen and Terneuzen would not (yet) have gone overboard and had cooperated with the BinckBank Tour in order to act as the agreed start or finish location in the stage race? Of course, the government’s renewed (or tightened) corona measures are leading. But the Binckbank Tour also showed that a race without an audience can easily be organized at the start and finish. The current rules to try to reduce the risk of infection in the Netherlands, the drivers could not and did not want to ignore. And with that, the light for the Gold Race also turned to red faster than expected.

Because with that aspect (no spectators at the start, line and on the climbs) Van Vliet was also very busy. He actually hated the idea of ​​an Amstel Gold Race through the most southern province where there would be no people along the route; at the same time, the inventive helmsman of the event understood that this option could increase the chance of continuing.

More variants were reviewed. For example, a plan was ready to exchange the original course for a race on a seventeen-kilometer circuit that was used during the world championships in 2012, in and around Valkenburg. “That looked very good. We tried everything to save the race (and the tour, ed.). The sponsors kept encouraging me to look for solutions. But that will one day come to an end, ”said a deeply disappointed Van Vliet. “Last year we experienced the most beautiful Amstel Gold Race in history, with Mathieu van der Poel as the winner. At the moment we have to go through the worst moment in the history of our event. So be it. On to 2021. ”

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