The 66th edition of Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne has been cancelled due to bad weather.
The riders awoke to snow and freezing conditions in Belgium on Sunday morning, and after the organisers had met with team managers, police and officials at 11:00 local time, the decision was taken not to run the 196km kilometre event due to safety concerns for both riders and spectators alike.
It is the third time the semi-Classic has been cancelled. The 1986 and 1993 editions were also lost to inclement conditions, and Sports Director Servais Knaven believes this latest decision is a good one.
He told us: “Everybody’s disappointed but happy at the same time that the right decision was made. There was no discussion about whether the race should have been run or not and that was really good to see – everybody in agreement and putting the safety of the riders and supporters first.
“It’s so sad for the organisation because they put so much energy and effort into this race and they don’t get anything to show for it. I feel for the fans as well who have travelled to come and watch the action.
“One-day races are not like stage races where you can miss one day and then continue where you left off, there’s no chance of it being rescheduled because the race calendar is so full.”
Bernhard Eisel meanwhile, echoed Knaven’s sentiments by Tweeting: “Good decision, safety comes first! Of course it's a shame for the organisers, volunteers and fans, but too risky for us.”
Unable to get out on their bikes, the Team Sky riders hit the turbos for an hour on Sunday lunchtime before making an early trip home.
Knaven added: “It’s still snowing at the hotel so there was no sense in keeping them here any longer. They will fly home tonight, get a hard day’s training in on Monday before flying back out here on Tuesday, ready for Le Samyn on Wednesday.”
Geraint Thomas had been looking to build on his encouraging fourth-placed finish at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, but was looking on the bright side as he made his way back to Britain.
He Tweeted: “Shame no #KBK today. But at least I'll make it home for Sunday roast. #everycloud”.