By Brecht Decaluwé
On Saturday November 4th, the 45th Witloofcross will be held in Vossem, Belgium, but it may be the last time the race will be organised. The organisers are unhappy with the way there race has been treated by the UCI. "The way it goes now, we don't appreciate organising a race anymore," president of the organising committee Kris Sommerijns said at the press conference in Vossem. "In the current cyclo-cross circus it's not longer possible for us to organise a top class race, so we choose to pull away," Sommerijns continued.
The president complained about the problems finding a date on the over-full international calendar. "The best riders can't race everywhere. Besides the world cup, they choose to compete in a series like the Superprestige or the GvA-trophy which is offered in one contract to the riders," Sommerijns explained.
The independent race organisers are third in the row and find it difficult to attract good riders. "The starting fees have risen enormously in recent years, for that reason there's no longer interest to organize a race in foreign countries. If the sport loses it's value outside of Belgium, it'll be clear that the riders signed their death sentence". The president also asked the UCI to look at the future of the sport without suppressing the popularity of cyclo-cross in Belgium.