Spectators have to stay at home to watch the much loved cobbled Classics of Flanders, including the Tour of Flanders, as uncertainty continues with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Autumn saw the remaining Classics in Belgium raced with no fans officially allowed on the course, with most members of the public respecting those choices to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
But even with the talk of multiple vaccines coming into use the organiser of many prestigious races, Flanders Classics, has taken the decision early to have no fans at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Ghent-Wevelgem, Dwars Door Vlaanderen, Scheldeprijs and Brabantse Pijl, as well as Belgian Monument the Tour of Flanders.
CEO of Flanders Classics, Tomas van den Spiegel said in an interview with DeMorgen: “This is how we will work throughout the classic spring.
“Of course I would rather see Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) drive up the Oude Kwaremont side by side through a sea of people,
“Unfortunately that will not be the case in 2021 either.”
The races that did take place in 2020 did not disappoint with some amazing performances by multiple riders including new world champion, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) coming out as a top Cobbled Classics contender with a win at Brabantse Pijl before crashing out of the Tour of Flanders.
We also got the much anticipated battle between Van der Poel and Van Aert in De Ronde along with many other epic rides, showing that the races can take place without fans.
With the hope of multiple coronavirus vaccines on the horizon , Van den Spiegel has still maintained that he does not want to move the races in the calendar again saying it would create uncertainty.
Several safety measures were taken and the plan is that they will be again, Van den Spiegel continued: “It has turned out that cycling races can take place without an audience.
“It never occurred to us not to organise the Omloop, Gent-Wevelgem or the Ronde. Not really. We can do this one more time, then it really isn’t possible anymore.”
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is the first Classic scheduled for 2021, due to be raced on February 27.