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News late Thursday night through Friday morning confirmed fears over the successful running of the races after news broke Thursday that health authorities had suspended all sport in Flanders through the end of March. After initial uncertainty as to whether the decree also included pro cycling, race organizers have now confirmed the worst.
“Unfortunately no Gent-Wevelgem and no Dwars door Vlaanderen for now this year,” stated Flanders Classics in a Facebook post. “The general cancellation of all sports events until April 3rd is part of the measures taken by the Belgian government to limit the COVID-19 impact.”
E3 BinckBank Classic, which doesn’t fall under the remit of organizing body Flanders Classics, also confirmed on Twitter early Friday that their race was to be canceled.
The races, scheduled to take place from March 27 through April 1, traditionally act as a key testing ground for monument-hunters ahead of Tour of Flanders (April 5) and Paris Roubaix (April 12).
The Belgian decree banning sporting events spans through April 3, and so at this time Tour of Flanders is unaffected. Christian Prudhomme, boss of French body ASO, passed no comment on the future of Paris-Roubaix in an interview Wednesday as he focusses his efforts on the successful completion of Paris-Nice.