• The Muur van Geraardsbergen/Kappelmuur a the 2018 Tour of Flanders (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
For the first time since World War I, the Tour of Flanders will not be raced in spring says race organisers.
Cycling Central

15 Mar 2020 - 3:52 AM  UPDATED 15 Mar 2020 - 6:01 AM

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The Belgian government announced yesterday (AEDT) all races up until Friday 3 April were cancelled. This year's Tour of Flanders is scheduled for Sunday 5 April. 

"You cannot impose measures until April 3 to organise the largest event in Flanders on April 5," Flanders Classics spokesperson Tomas Van den Spiegel said, as reported by Het Nieuwsblad

"We must understand that it will go in the direction of a cancellation. And if you hear this message from the minister (of sport) , it seems irreversible. ”

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And the Minister of Sport, Ben Weyts, was under no illusions nor was he hopeful of finding a new date for the Belgian version of the Melbourne Cup.   

"I don't think it's realistic, let's be honest," he said. "I don't think that's going to be feasible. That a whole peloton from all over the world would settle in Flanders a few days after April 3."

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The Belgian ministry is said to be concerned about postponing the event to another date as a raft of cultural events all look to fill similar parts of the calendar, putting a strain on logistics and resourcing. 

The race was cancelled during 1914-1918 as war ravaged Flanders' fields but continued throughout World War II.