C.orona continues to cause violent turbulence. Also in the sports calendar 2021, for which from the Hessian point of view something astonishing applies, because May 1st falls on September 19th. On this Sunday in autumn, the traditional Eschborn-Frankfurt cycle race found a new, unfamiliar date. “Despite all the optimism,” the organizers of the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) say, the traditional date on May 1st could not be kept. Reliable planning was not possible, said ASO spokesman Claude Rach, who is also the managing director of the Frankfurt Society for the Promotion of Cycling. Because major events in Germany are still prohibited and May 1st is too early for a positive forecast, weeks ago the search for an alternative date to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the race in 2021 was made.
In principle, given the international racing calendar, which is set in time, such a search is a search for a needle in a haystack. But in the state of emergency of the global pandemic, the World Cycling Association (UCI), contrary to its custom, jumped over its shadow and agreed to move it to September 19. “The UCI has created an exception in its own regulations,” says Rach. The fact that the UCI agreed to the relocation is unusual and unthinkable in non-Corona times, as the new date falls within the scheduling sovereignty of the World Cup.
The World Cup individual time trial will take place on September 19 in the Belgian region of Flanders, and exactly one week later the classic specialists will be racing on the streets for the world champion’s rainbow jersey. Rach sees Frankfurt-Eschborn now in the attractive role of a dress rehearsal for the World Cup, in other words: he hopes – with the exception of the time trial specialists – a prominent field with many world-class drivers who roll up in Hesse for the World Cup final.
“I would like to thank the authorities and the UCI for their flexibility and support,” said Rach. “We will try to offer the professionals the best possible dress rehearsal for the World Cup.” The course should not be changed in the direction of the extremely hard terrain in Flanders with its many short and brutal climbs and the violent passages over cobblestones. Rather, stick to the traditionally medium-long and medium-difficulty route.
5000 hobby drivers already registered
The protagonists of Eschborn-Frankfurt also include around 5,000 hobby riders who have already registered for the Velotour 2021 and who will now be ahead of the professional field for the 20th time on September 19th. They not only create a good mood, but also raise money in the till with their entry fees. For this reason too, the organizers must be keen to know not only the expensive professional race, but also the lucrative hobby caravan at the start – and that is far more likely in September than in May.
A purely professional race might have been staged in May, but a mass event with several thousand participants certainly not. As far as the date in September is concerned, the considerations are already moving towards dividing the huge field of hobby drivers into smaller starting groups than before. This would mean that you would need more time – for this reason, the U21 and juniors races are already being dispensed with. You will not drive around Eschborn and Frankfurt, Covid will slow you down again after 2020. For the time being, the principle of hope applies to professionals and hobby drivers.
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