Dutch road championships to go ahead in August

Cyclingnews
TIELTWINGE BELGIUM MARCH 01 Arrival Lorena Wiebes of The Netherlands and Team Parkhotel Valkenburg Celebration Marta Bastianelli of Italy and Team Al Btc Ljubljana during the 16th Spar Omloop Van Het Hageland 2020 Women Elite a 130km race from Tienen to TieltWinge LottoCyclingCup BELCycling on March 01 2020 in TieltWinge Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

The Dutch cycling federation (KNWU) has approved dates for the rescheduled road championships, which will now be held on the UCI-specified dates of August 21-23.

The championships, originally scheduled for June, were cancelled in May when the Netherlands government halted all sporting events until September 1 to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. But after weeks of lockdown and the virus largely under control, the government decided to begin allowing mass-start racing as of July 1.

The move opened up more options for organising the championships. Last year they were held in Ede, with Lorena Wiebes and Fabio Jakobsen taking the titles. In August, the championships for U23 men and elite men and women will be held on a 7.3km circuit in Drenthe and will take in the VAM-berg, the short but steep climb over a landfill used in the Ronde van Drenthe.

KNWU Managing Director Thorwald Veneberg was pleased to announce the championships would go ahead, with organisers Courage Events working together with the Midden-Drenthe municipality and Drenthe province to finalize plans.

"For many riders this is an event to look forward to," Veneberg said in a press release. "It would have been easy to explain if we could not organise this year given the social interests that took precedence for several months.

"But now that sporting events are allowed again, we look forward to a race that is important to us as a federation.

"The decision to organize was taken into account that the Dutch championship is an important moment, especially for the Continental teams and the women's teams, to generate exposure for their sponsors. Especially now that there has been no competition for a few months.

"With the cooperation of all parties we can and want to contribute as a union to give some extra shine to this season."