The organization of the Amstel Gold Race remains optimistic about continuing the professional competition. “The glass is half full”, race director Leo van Vliet told L1.
The South Limburg cycling classic, with start in Maastricht and finish in Vilt, recently got a new race date from cycling association UCI: Saturday 10 October.
Vaccine necessary However,
Minister of Health Hugo de Jonge informs in a letter to the House of Representatives that no date has yet been planned for allowing ‘events with a national appearance’. According to the minister, this is only possible once there is a vaccine for the coronavirus. The minister hopes that this will be ‘fast’, but takes into account that it may take another year, or even longer.
Van Vliet says that he is not currently concerned with the cabinet’s announcement. “The vaccine is of course very important. And regarding the course: we take everything into account. The most important thing is that we are on the calendar, on a good date.”
Achieving great things
If there is a Gold Race, it will be different from other years anyway. Crowds of people along the trail are currently unimaginable. We will see what we need to do organisationally, but for me, the glass is half full “, says Van Vliet.” At the moment everything is arranged. We are a small organization, very flexible and we can achieve great things. We have also shown this in recent years, “says the optimistic race director.
The Amstel Gold Race was actually scheduled for April 19, but due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, that original race date was dashed. On the new UCI calendar, a place has been reserved for the only cycling classic in the Netherlands. In 2019 Mathieu van der Poel heroically won the match.
Van Vliet is less optimistic about the Tour version, which, like the professional competition, was also given a new date. According to the new planning, about 15,000 holidaymakers would cycle through the Hill Country on 11 October. “It will be difficult,” acknowledges Van Vliet.
Men and women
The Amstel Gold Race, which is normally held in April, has also been postponed. October 10 has now been announced as a new exchange date. That date was already in the air but has now also been ratified by the union. It is intended that both the men’s and women’s races will be held on that day.