Why a countdown? Because the organizers did everything to make sure the race could go on. From their plan A (normal race) they went to a blan B (cut out the hills) and even a plan C (only big roads and lots of local laps). Until this morning they were optimistic, but....... it just started snowing again. The tace should normally start at 12:15 CET. Will there be racing today? We'll find out shortly!
Yay! despite the snow of this morning, the race has started!
Here's what I wrote earlier:
Finally! A race in Belgium. After the cancellation of Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and Nokere Koerse (and Le Samyn that could no be broadcasted) there’s finally racing going on again on Belgian soil. The last pro-race we had was the Omloop. Feels like it’s ages ago.
The weather is still pretty shitty, we had quite a lot of snow again yesterday, so things didn’t look too good, but the organizers decided to design a completely new course with only big main roads that should be free of snow. The riders will also have to complete nine local laps around the town of Handzame.
The old course had some hills, these had to be left out unfortunately, but that won’t change the outcome of the race much. It’s would have been a sprinter’s race anyway.
Talking about sprinters
, Kittel is the biggest name here. Kittel's ill and was replaced yesterday by Jonas Ahlstrand, who's supposed to be fast too. I think that Veelers will be the Argos-Shimano leader though. He’ll be sprinting against some guys who had good results earlier this year (Markus, Dehaes, Bos, Napolitano) and some B-class sprinters (Feillu, Fenn, Blythe, Van Staeyen, Van Dijk, Robert, Steels, Förster, O’Shea, Flahaut, Wippert). Other notable names: Alexander Wetterhall (solo winner in Drenthe), Timothy Dupont (Belgium's most succesul UCI 1.12 rider and reigning 1.12 Belgian Champ) and Niko Eeckhout.
Sadly, we’ll have to do without live images, but the good people of directvelo will keep us informed through their live ticker.
Course no clue really