The Benelux Tour will not take place in 2022 due to the overload of the cycling calendar in August. In a statement, organizer Golazo said he was lobbying the UCI for a softer date on the calendar in 2023.
This year’s Benelux Tour – formerly known as Eneco Tour and BinckBank Tour – was due to take place in the Netherlands and Belgium from August 29 to September 4. The race was due to come up against the Vuelta a España, which starts this year. in Utrecht on August 19.
“For the organization, the postponement of the event is the only solution in order to avoid the problems linked to an overloaded cycling calendar, in particular at the logistical and media level”, reads the press release from Golazo.
“The pressure of the international cycling calendar causes several conflicts, and therefore, despite vain attempts, the postponement is the only possible solution.”
Golazo added that the Dutch police were unable to guarantee his monitoring of the stages in the Netherlands. “For the Benelux Tour, which emphasizes safety, racing without the necessary police assistance is dangerous and not an option.”
The clash with the Vuelta for the second consecutive year also created problems with broadcast schedules and media visibility. Golazo said that, in turn, would have caused logistical problems for participating teams.
“The programming of arrival times and TV shows also posed intractable problems,” Golazo said. “The broadcast times of the other races at the same time would have forced the organization to plan arrival times which would become uninteresting for the supporters and guests on site, as well as for the television viewers. It would also result in impossible tee times and travel for teams.
Golazo has confirmed he is liaising with the UCI and the Belgian and Dutch cycling federations for a different slot on the calendar from 2023.
The race was first held in 2005 under the Eneco Tour banner replacing the former Tour of the Netherlands, and it was part of that season’s first ProTour (now WorldTour).
The event was traditionally held in early August, although in 2016 it was moved to a September date due to the Rio Olympics and October Worlds of that year in Doha. Four years later, the race took place at the end of September as the calendar was rearranged due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year, the Benelux Tour took place at the end of August, colliding directly with the Vuelta. Sonny Colbrelli won the overall title, and he would later win the European Championships and Paris-Roubaix that fall.
“The postponement of the Benelux Tour to 2023 is regrettable for the cycling fans of Les Plats Pays, as for our team, which has been preparing for months already,” said Christophe Impens de Golazo. “But it is a necessary decision and the only solution to avoid problems.”