Not like Paris-Roubaix, canceled when it was to be held on October 24 and 25, a couple of kilometers away, in Belgium, the Tour of Flanders is maintained on Sunday October 18. Nonetheless, it’s held in unprecedented circumstances because of the Covid-19 epidemic, behind closed doorways for a one-day race which often brings collectively almost 1,000,000 spectators.
Humorous impressions in Vieux-Quaremont, the cobbled coast the place the guts of the Tour of Flanders now beats. The fields, often rented so costly, stretch so far as the attention can see with out a motorhome on the horizon. The chirping of birds and outdated roosters has changed the sound system which often resonates all weekend. No white marquee, no beer keg both. Solely the promoting banners remind us that the largest Flemish folks competition is being held in the present day. A couple of newbie cyclists like Morgan and Corentin got here to problem the cobbles regardless of every part, earlier than the professionals. “The center is there and so long as there’s ardour, the cyclists, the race shall be lovely and we will all the time thrill watching it“, they are saying, “As well as, we now have good climate though it’s October. It simply goes to indicate that it doesn’t rain every single day in Belgium!”
Once they go to the highest, the 2 brothers are applauded by three residents of Quaremont. Glass of Champagne in hand, Tienaecke and her buddies insisted on organising a small desk on the finish of their backyard, to “fake”. “In fact it’s a bit unhappy”, acknowledges Flammande, “There aren’t any vacationers, no spectators in the present day. Nevertheless it’s for our well being, we don’t should be all crowded. So let’s watch the race on TV and keep at dwelling.”
Keep at dwelling. The directions have been hammered out all week through messages revealed on social networks by the Flemish runners themselves. To keep away from any public, the organizers have even deleted from their web site the route of the race and the scheduled instances. The beginning is not going to be given as common on the Grand-Place in Antwerp.
It’s at this value that the monument, which even World Struggle II didn’t cancel, can stand. That is what explains Tomas Van der Spiegel, the boss of Flanders Classics: “It is extremely necessary that the race takes place as a result of biking is an actual financial sector. It’s a sport that works very properly on TV even with out supporters, not like soccer. It have to be proven in the present day that in 2021 , if needed we will manage the race in the identical means. ” And the organizer warns: a gaggle of greater than 4 individuals alongside the route and the fines will fall.