[Update] Amstel Gold Race is canceled, BinckBank Tour finds alternatives


(September 29, 2020) A hard blow for the organization of the BinckBanck Tour. The corona measures introduced by the government ensure that the Dutch stages of the race, where the first stage was won by Jasper Philipsen on Tuesday, must be a line. The time trial on Wednesday in Vlissingen and the hill stage through Limburg on Friday will be canceled, as will the sprinters stage on Thursday that would start in Terneuzen.

The mayors of the municipalities of Sittard-Geleen, Terneuzen and Sittard were forced to make this decision, they say The Limburger. ‘It is too short a day to apply the measures announced on Monday evening in the organization surrounding the WorldTour race. It was a painful, but necessary decision ‘, says the mayor of Vlissingen, Bas van de Tillaar. The time trial would be held in the Zeeland place on Wednesday.

It is still unclear whether the BinckBanck Tour will continue now that three stages are being wiped out of the stage schedule. Only the fifth stage goes through Belgium in its entirety, while stage three finishes in the Belgian town of Aalter, albeit with a start in Terneuzen. The organization will first want to put everything in order before making decisions.

‘Organization wants to continue in Belgium on Thursday’

While the mayors of the various start and finish places speak of a necessary decision, Dirk Demol, sports director at Israel Start-Up Nation, hopes for an alternative. According to him, the organization will do everything it can to ‘continue racing in Belgium from Thursday’. This means that there will be no driving on Wednesday.

The organization confirms this intention in a press release. Alternatives are being sought for Thursday and Friday. That would mean that a new starting place would have to be replaced by Terneuzen before Thursday, when the riders finish in Belgium. The organization is aiming for a time trial on Friday, but no location is known yet. The final stage is scheduled in Flanders on Saturday.

Update – September 30, 2020 (1.10 p.m.): BinckBank Tour continues, Amstel Gold Race awaits

The corona measures in the Netherlands disrupted the BinckBank Tour, but the stage race will continue on Thursday, it reports AD. The third stage, which would go from Terneuzen to Aalter, will now be driven from Aalter to Aalter. An alternative is still being sought for the fourth stage, before ending the BinckBank Tour on Saturday in the fifth stage across Belgian territory.

So far, so good, but not yet for the Amstel Gold Race. The Dutch classic, which is scheduled for October 10, is also suffering from the stricter corona measures in the Netherlands and is looking for a solution with all the might. ‘It will be thrilling. I can’t say more about it for the time being ‘, organizer Leo van Vliet tells it AD. A local tour of the Cauberg is an option, but talks with the local authorities are still ongoing. In any case, a public-free start and finish zone no longer seems feasible, now that the stricter measures have armed all mayors and security regions to the teeth.

Update II – September 30, 2020 (4.38 pm): Amstel Gold Race canceled, BinckBank Tour to Riemst

The Amstel Gold Race will not take place on October 10, organizer Leo van Vliet has confirmed to the WE. Van Vliet is disappointed, because for months hard work has been done on a race that could be held safely despite the corona virus. However, the stricter corona measures in the Netherlands were too much for it.

‘Everything has not cooperated, with the increase in the corona in the Netherlands. We already drew plan B last week, by driving on a closed track. That looked really good and we worked hard to get it on paper. We have worked very well with the security region and the mayor, but there is a rule in the new measures that states that sports matches must be held without an audience. We were told that applying for a permit makes no sense, so it was done then. ‘

‘We live in a very strange time,’ Van Vliet continues. ‘We were so hopeful, so this blow hits really hard. It is very sinister that you had the most beautiful Amstel Gold Race in history eighteen months ago … ‘, before it breaks. ‘Life goes on, but the financial consequences are dire. We have a lot of support from our sponsors, but if the government says it cannot go any further, it will stop. ‘

There was also good news for cycling fans in Belgium and the Netherlands, because the stages in the BinckBank Tour canceled in the Netherlands have their alternative. Thursday’s ride will go from Aalter to Aalter, Friday we will be time trial in Riemst, reports Sporza. (photo: Sirotti)

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