The Dutch wind cycling championships have been canceled due to storm Ciaran which caused violent gusts in the Netherlands as well, competition organizers announced on Thursday.
“Unfortunately the wind became stronger and stronger as the days went by, preventing us from starting the race. The safety of all is our main priority,” they declared, while the maximum wind speed during the race cannot exceed 61 km/h.
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Robrecht Stoekenbroek, one of the organizers, told the Dutch news agency ANP that he faced "many faces of disappointment" but also "a lot of understanding" among the 300 registered participants.
Each year, the competition brings together amateur cyclists but also former Olympic runners, like Bart Brentjens, mountain bike gold medalist at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
He is the current championship record holder. In 2013, he completed the 8.5 km track, which runs along the Eastern Scheldt dike in the west of the Netherlands, in 17 minutes and 51 seconds.
According to Robrecht Stoekenbroek, the competition should be able to take place once Storm Ciaran is over.
This has affected the Netherlands since Wednesday. The Dutch have been advised to work from home and many trains and planes have been canceled in the country.