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Roadside fans to be banned from Tour of Flanders in 2021

Joe Robinson
2 Dec 2020

Race organiser confirms Belgian Spring Classics will take place with continued restrictions on fans

Fans will be banned from watching from the roadside at the 2021 Tour of Flanders, the race's organiser has confirmed. 

Flanders Classics, the organising body behind some of the biggest Spring Classics races, has confirmed that while Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Gent-Wevelgem, Dwars Door Vlaanderen, Scheldeprijs, Brabantse Pijl and the Tour of Flanders will all take place, it will be without roadside spectators. 

Despite worldwide optimism around the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus, Flanders Classics CEO Tom van den Spiegel believes it will be too soon to have roadside spectators in Flanders next spring

'There are no crowds,' Van den Spiegel told Dutch website Wielerflits on next year's races.

'This is how we will work throughout the Spring Classics. Of course, I would rather see Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel race up the Oude Kwaremont side by side through a sea of ​​people. Unfortunately, that will not be the case in 2021 either.'

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic saw the 2020 Spring Classics postponed from their usual dates in March and April as the racing calendar was put on pause. Luckily, Flanders Classics was able to reschedule all of its one-day races later in the season, albeit with strict rules around roadside spectators.

At this year's Tour of Flanders, spectators were banned from standing on the race's 17 climbs unless they were a resident of one of the roadside houses. Government restrictions also saw groups capped at six with face masks mandatory.

It is believed 750,000 spectators from around the world line the route of the Tour of Flanders annually so their absence will certainly be felt by local businesses that profit from their presence.

Beyond the banning of roadside spectators, there was no update on whether the corresponding amateur sportives would take place in 2021 either.