Wednesday’s stage of the BinckBank Tour has been cancelled due to new coronavirus restrictions in the Netherlands.
The Dutch government has increased restrictions to reduce movement within the country, and have warned against non-essential travel between Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. Large gatherings of people have also been banned. Wednesday’s stage was set to be a 10.9km time trial in Vlissingen, but has duly been cancelled.
The third stage was due to start in the Netherlands, and stage four was planned to travel into the country to finish in Sittard.
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On Twitter, the race organisers confirmed the cancellation of Wednesday’s stage but Thursday’s event is set to go ahead.
Only Stage 5, from Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve to Geraardsbergen was due to take place entirely within Belgium.
Vlissingen mayor Bas van den Tillaar told Limburger.nl: "It was a painful, but necessary decision to prevent the spread of the virus.”
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The tour had already been rearranged from its initial dates of 31 August to 6 September after the impact of the coronavirus cancelled huge numbers of races from March to August.
The decision to abandon much of the competition puts the Amstel Gold Race into serious doubt. The event was scheduled for Saturday 10 October to take place near Sittard. Dutch time trials, scheduled for 7 October, were cancelled on Tuesday in light of the new regulations.
The BinckBank tour is led by Jasper Philipsen of UAE Team Emirates, who won the first stage on Tuesday in Ardooie. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) is second and Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma) is third.
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