With the Worlds schedule being thrown into disarray due to potential course flooding on Sunday, we wanted to hear what the Belgians (the ones staying home and having parties around watching the races) had to say about the switch.
by Christine Vardaros
While it is a huge inconvenience for the riders to perform a day earlier than expected as they have perfectly timed their pre-race workouts, routines, and mental planning, the supporters of these riders feel it as well. When Worlds is so far away, making it difficult to watch the race in person, they hold tv-viewing parties. In addition to the large organized parties, you can be sure there are tens of thousands of others who invited friends over for the big day. This is their version of the Super Bowl.
The news of the date change has touched a good portion of Belgians – one million according to Belgian media’s expectations, all of whom are rearranging their schedule to watch the race Saturday. This change of events has been received with mixed reviews.
Ilse Hendrickx explains, “Yeah, very annoying that move of dates in Louisville. I had invited some friends over to my house and now it doesn’t happen. On Saturday, I’m not free so I now have to tape the races. Stupid, huh, but the date change was for safety sake, no? Because then I’ll understand their decision.”
Ernst van Looveren quipped, “Now they all can watch the Super Bowl instead of the cyclocross. That’s what I thought directly this morning and let us keep cyclocross in Europe please.”
“Crosserke Franky” exclaimed, “My plans fell completely in the Ohio River, damn it!”
Patrick van der Massen said, “That surely changes my plans. I had dinner plans for Saturday evening and had to move them to Sunday. I’ll also have to do my bike ride earlier than planned tomorrow morning.”
Ria van Looveren said, “I can’t change my plans – I have to go to work.”
Adri Haine was disappointed that a bit of water would have such an impact, explained, “’De cross gaat door’” (the ’cross race goes on) as it does in Belgium, come rain, hail or snow..”
Brecht Toelen said, “I think that we as supporters and also the racers can’t really complain much. For the organization, it’s much worse. They’ve worked on this Worlds for two years now only to see it now almost literally turn into a waterfall. Maybe it’s even nicer that all the races are in one day, people are already excited about the cyclocross marathon on Sporza.”
Dirk Bruylant added, “ It’s not that big disaster. Here in Belgium, we are rather flexible.”
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