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Dutch stages of BinckBank Tour cancelled due to Covid measures

Joe Robinson
30 Sep 2020

Amstel Gold Race also in doubt due to surge in cases in the Netherlands

New, stricter Covid-19 measures in the Netherlands have seen the Dutch stages of the BinchBank Tour cancelled, according to Dutch outlet Wielerflits.nlThe latest rule changes could also see the Amstel Gold Race, rescheduled for the 10th October, cancelled too.

The stage race, that takes place in Belgium and the Netherlands, was set to travel to the Dutch town of Vlissingen on Wednesday for Stage 2, a 10.9km time-trial.

However, due to a recent surge in coronavirus cases in the major Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, Prime Minister Mark Rutte has been forced to impose stricter guidelines.

These include the ban of non-essential travel through these cities and the ban of large gatherings, inclusive of sports crowds.

With these new rules being put in place with such short notice, the BinckBank Tour had no option but to cancel its stage north of the Belgian border.

These latest measures will also affect Stage 3 which was due to start in the Dutch town of Phillippine and Stage 4 which was due to finish in the Dutch town of Sittard.

The only remaining stage of this year's race that was not scheduled to travel into the Netherlands is Stage 5, which goes from Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve to Geraardsbergen in Belgium.

Stage 1 of the race took place in Belgium and was won by Jasper Philipsen of UAE Team Emirates after a mass pile-up in the final 4km of racing.

The Amstel Gold Race is now also in doubt due to these new, tougher measures imposed by the Dutch government.

The one-day Classic finishes in the town of Valkenburg, only 20km away from the town of Sittard, due to host the BinckBank Tour later this week.

With the Dutch National Championships time-trial, set for the 7th October, also being cancelled last week, it is looking ominous for the Classic that is set to take place a week on Saturday.

Won in emphatic fashion in 2019 by Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel, Amstel Gold's organisers are working tirelessly to ensure the race goes ahead, albeit void of roadside fans.

'It is not yet certain whether it will continue. It's very exciting, we've been having conversations all day long,' said Amstel organiser Leo van Vliet told Sporza.

'It looked good nonetheless. We submitted our plans last week, both at the UCI and at national and local level. It looked like everything would be approved, but yesterday's tightening has put everything in jeopardy again.

'The decision is in the hands of the "Security Region". They have to take the plunge. We can only do our very best to make everything as safe as possible. When the decision will be made, I don't know at the moment week, otherwise it will be very difficult for us anyway.

'Plan A has been off the table for a long time, plan B too. We are already working on plan C, so to speak.'