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Heistse Pijl cancelled as Antwerp imposes new coronavirus measures

Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck-Quickstep)
Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck-Quickstep) was due to ride the race (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The Heistse Pijl, due to take place on August 1, has been called off after the local government imposed strict new measures to stem the spread of COVID-19.

The kermesse was due to have a star-studded start list, with sprintetrs Alvaro Hodeg and Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quickstep) and Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) due to take part.

On Monday, the Belgian prime minister halted the country's reopening plans after increasing numbers of coronavirus cases.

The province of Antwerp put in place a curfew of 11:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. and a mandatory face mask requirement. The Belgian government lowered public gathering sizes to 100 people indoors and 200 outdoors.

Organisers of Heistse Pijl were hoping to be able to hold the race 'behind closed doors' but the local authorities would not approve the event.

The race organisers hope the race can be postponed if the coronavirus situation improves.