Lack of motorbikes to protect riders' security made Belgian race unfeasible to be held; riders notified just few minutes before the start.
It was a bad way to end the Movistar Team’s first international tournée, the Blues having started their international competitions for 2019 a month ago at Italy’s Strade Bianche and expected to finish it off at Monday’s GP Dottignies (UCI 1.2) in Belgium. The Walloon event was cancelled just few minutes before the start, with its teams’ presentation already complete and all riders at the grid, as the Dottignies city council did not give the event green light to start.
The reason offered by the organisers was a lack of sufficient motorbikes -five were missing, they explained- to signal crossings, deviations and dangerous points of the circuit -just over 20km in length- the Belgian race was going to cover. Disappointed with the day’s events, the riders directed by Jorge Sanz and Sebastián Unzué replaced the day’s racing with a two-hour training ride, which they took advantage from to get closer to the Brussels airport most of the Telefónica-backed squad will travel back home from.
The Movistar Team is expected to tackle their next women’s event on Easter Sunday (21st April) at the Amstel Gold Race, first round of the famous ‘Ardennes trio’.
Cover picture (c): Velofocus