After the cancellation of the scheduled time trial in Vlissingen today, the BinckBank Tour has found a convenient solution in Riemst. On Friday, there will be no stage race but a time trial of 8.14 km, including a climb of the Slingerberg. We would like to thank the municipality of Riemst that helped to make this possible in a very short span of time.
A time trial is an integral part of a multi-day cycling event. Due to the cancellation of the scheduled time trial in Vlissingen today, the organisation had to quickly find an alternative. And that alternative was found in the exact location where Friday's stage was due to start, Riemst in the South of Limburg. Belgian Limburg to be precise, after all, the BinckBank Tour was no longer welcome in Dutch Limburg so a solution had to be found for Friday's stage (which was supposed to finish in Sittard-Geleen).
The time trial in Riemst kills two birds with one stone. Moreover, the course that has been selected is lovely and glowing. The start is underneath the magnificent bridge in Kanne, which immediately leads to the Slingerberg: a climb of 600 metres with an average gradient of 6% that derives its name from the nine bends in the road. After reaching the top of the hill, there are a few ups-and-downs - possibly mixed with some added wind - and the course continues in the direction of the bridge of Vroenhoven. Then, downhill via the Muizenberg to the finish at the Statieplein in Kanne. This new time trial course will probably add some extra spice for the riders with ambitions of entering the ranking.
Mark Vos, mayor of Riemst: "We are extremely delighted to help out the BinckBank Tour in their time of need. We have been working together splendidly for nine years, which makes it easy to make an extra effort. Logistically speaking this is quite a feat, but it will make it all the more sweet if we can pull this off successfully. Everybody's a winner. We can showcase our municipality even better than would have been the case with the original start thanks to this time trial, which runs over our territory in its entirety. Every fan of cycling will discover Kanne, one of the most beautiful villages in our country, and our Slingerberg."
Gert Van Goolen, spokesperson for the BinckBank Tour: "As was the case in Aalter, where we can continue the BinckBank Tour tomorrow/Thursday with a revised stage, we are once again very grateful to the municipality of Riemst in this case for helping to facilitate this solution. It is promising to be a wonderful time trial in Limburg. Thanks to the help of both Aalter and Riemst, we have managed to allow the BinckBank Tour to continue and all of that in a little over half a day. From tomorrow afternoon, the riders can go for it for another three days and are presented with just as many different stages."
Incidentally, the race jury has informed us that all rankings at the end of the first stage Blankenberge-Ardooie will be upheld. No UCI points will be awarded for the second stage as a result of the cancellation of that stage.
Tue 29/09: Blankenberge - Ardooie: Jasper Philipsen
Wed 30/09: / (forced rest day)
Thu 01/10: Aalter - Aalter (157 km)
Fri 02/10: Time trial Riemst (8.14 km)
Sat 03/10: Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve - Geraardsbergen (183.6 km)