Belgian one-day race GP Oetingen cancelled due to extreme weather

Organisers called the event off before a pedal had been turned thanks to heavy snow

GP Oetingen
(Image credit: Twitter/UAE Team ADQ)

Belgian women's race GP Oetingen was called off on Wednesday morning due to heavy snowfall across the region.

On a morning when many across the UK woke up to carpets of white across rooftops and fields, it was a similar story in central Belgium, where the organisers judged that the extreme weather conditions would make racing unsafe.

The snow was forecast on Tuesday night, but teams which had travelled to northern Europe hoped for kind conditions when they woke up, however it was not meant to be.

Organisers said that they would wait until 11am to judge the conditions, but it soon became clear that the course would not be cleared in time for action, with the race due to start in the early afternoon.

There were eight WorldTour teams due to race Oetingen, including the team that won the race through Lorena Wiebes last year, DSM.

Last month, the opening stage of O Gran Camiño, a men's Spanish 2.1 stage race, was cancelled amid heavy snowfall, with riders forcing the event to stop. However, this was mid-race, not beforehand as in Belgium.

With 20km to go the peloton was stopped by race organisers, with the three riders up the road halted shortly later, as precipitation fell in Galicia, northwest Spain.

On Wednesday, there would be no arty shots of riders battling through snow, as they did not even make it out of their hotel.

On social media, teams had been hopeful up until early this morning that the race would go ahead, but it would not be.

Movistar tweeted: "What was to be our race on Wednesday, #GPOetingen, has been canceled due to adverse conditions and the state of the circuits where it was to be held. The Movistar Team heads to the Netherlands for the Ronde van Drenthe on Saturday."

Human Powered Health asked: "What do you do on snow days?"

The second stage of the women’s stage race the Trofeo Ponente in Rosa, in Italy, has also been called off after stage 1 A was already canceled due to safety concerns, meaning the small amount of women's racing scheduled for this week has not happened.

The peloton will have to wait for the Drenthe Act van Westerveld on Friday, and hope for better weather conditions, and the Women’s WorldTour Ronde van Drenthe on Saturday, to pin numbers on now.

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