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UCI wants one cyclo-cross race-free weekend monthly in Belgium

A set of stairs at the cyclo-cross World Cup in Hamme Zogge.

A set of stairs at the cyclo-cross World Cup in Hamme Zogge. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

There are too many cyclo-cross races in Belgium, according to other countries and the International Cycling Union (UCI). The world governing body of cycling has proposed that at least one weekend per month in the country should be free of 'cross events.

“Foreign organisers believe that the international calendar is overwhelmed by Belgium,” said UCI co-ordinator Peter Van den Abeele to Het Laatste Nieuws. "This takes away from the sport in other countries. Belgian organisers have the money to attract the top riders. Then the top riders don't ride at home, so that the sport receives little attention.”

Van den Abeele said that he wanted to intervene, and had a plan. “I think that one weekend a month should be kept free from 'cross races in Belgium. On that 'cross-free' weekend, riders can go to other countries.”

He had a warning for the Belgians, too. “Now they have it all. But it was like that 15 years ago in Switzerland, too. When the Belgians wanted to, they could go each week to Zürich and its surroundings. Look at what they have now. Things can change quickly.”