In contrast to Paris-Roubaix, canceled when it was to be held on October 24 and 25, just a few kilometers away, in Belgium, the Tour of Flanders is maintained on Sunday October 18. Nevertheless, 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 center of the Tour of Flanders now beats. The fields, often rented so costly, stretch so far as the attention can see and not using 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 The chirping of birds and outdated roosters has changed the sound system which often resonates all weekend.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 people competition is being held right this moment. A couple of novice cyclists like Morgan and Corentin got here to problem the cobbles regardless of every little thing, earlier than the professionals. “The center is there and so long as there’s ardour, the cyclists, the race will probably be lovely and we will all the time thrill watching it“, they are saying, “As well as, now we have good climate although it’s October. It simply goes to point out 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 establishing a small desk on the finish of their backyard, to “faux”. “In fact it’s a bit unhappy”, acknowledges Flammande, “There are not any vacationers, no spectators right this moment. Nevertheless it’s for our well being, we don’t need to be all crowded. So let’s watch the race on TV and keep at house.”
Keep at house. The directions have been hammered out all week by way of messages printed 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 occasions. The beginning is not going to be given as regular on the Grand-Place in Antwerp.
It’s at this value that the monument, which even World Conflict II didn’t cancel, can stand. That is what explains Tomas Van der Spiegel, the boss of Flanders Classics: “It is vitally essential that the race takes place as a result of biking is an actual financial sector. It’s a sport that works very nicely on TV even with out supporters, in contrast to soccer. It have to be proven right this moment that in 2021 , if mandatory we will set up the race in the identical manner. ” And the organizer warns: a gaggle of greater than 4 individuals alongside the route and the fines will fall.