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2004 Omloop Het Volk (1.1)

This race is now "Omloop Het Nieuwsblad"

Saturday February 28, 2004

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad podium history | 2003 edition | 2005 edition

200 km.

Race cancelled.

Officials had managed to clear the race course of snow. But before the race was scheduled to begin, the snow came back. It was deemed too dangerous to race on the icy, snowy cobbles.

Announcing the cancellation, race boss Wim van Herreweghe (quoted by cyclingnews.com) said, "The safety of the riders could not be guaranteed. The snow and freezing cold made the parcours too dangerous."

"All the points of the parcours were cleared. The UCI looked at the Kwaremont, the Paddestraat and around Zottegem. We had someone from Brakel, one in Geraardsbergen and two or three people in Lokeren, and all the cobbled sections were done. At that moment the complete parcours was clear and at 9 o'clock we said we could start, there was not that much snow falling then.

"We issued a communique saying that the first three hills would be taken out, and only the Nieuwe Kwaremont would be in in place of the Oude Kwaremont and the Trieu and maybe that was it. The Kanarieberg was OK to ride up, but the descent was too dangerous. We could still have a nice, flat parcours on the big roads without too many risks. After Geraardsbergen it was perfect and we thought everything was good, but in Lokeren the snow was deeper. We thought 'OK, we wouldn't get there until four hours after midday and the temperature was between two and four degrees.' We still had high hopes.

"But at 10:00 AM…we had thick snowflakes falling in Gent and even thicker in Lokeren and the temperature was around 0 degrees. Together with the federal commandant of the police and the UCI we decided to cancel the race. It was a mutual decision."

At the time, I wrote: Tomorrow is Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. It remains to be seen if the weather will allow K-B-K to be run.

K-B-K was run under a bright sun, but it was very cold. Rabobank's Steven de Jongh won.