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If Rotterdam is to get the start of the Tour de France, then Utrecht will go for the World Cycling Championships!
According to sources Utrecht thought they stood a great chance of sealing the prologue again in 2025, but when Rotterdam entered the race no one wanted to get into a dispute with them for the good of Dutch cycling so the Utrecht business leaders are now aiming for the one remaining international cycling prize, the World Cycling Championships.
This new idea comes from the Business Peloton Utrecht (BPU), a collaboration between companies that was the driving force behind the arrival of the prologues of the Italian, French and Spanish tours.
Cor Jansen, chairman of the BPU, wants to give that five-yearly rhythm a follow-up.
What have we not had yet? The World Championship cycling, we are already the first city to have received the three major cycling rounds”
According to Jansen, the idea is still in ‘the brainstorming phase’ but he does expect that they will get started with it soon. At the moment they are focusing entirely on the Vuelta, but at a later date, they can take stock of whether there is enough support in the city for the World Cycling Championships. ”
The World Championship lasts for over a week and Utrechters may be afraid of a city that is locked down for days with routes and roads closed to all but the racers.
Jansen reassures the city:
No, man, that is not going to happen. We especially want to make a World Cup for the region. So a course on the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. Yes, the Amerongse Berg must of course be there
He would like to get the Tour to Utrecht again, Jansen said earlier, but now that Rotterdam have announced this weekend that they are officially bidding on a Tour start in 2025 that plan is out of the question.
We absolutely do not accept this conflict. My cycling heart is very happy that such a big cycling event is coming to the Netherlands again. In Utrecht we now focus first on the Vuelta.
To the great sorrow of Jeroen Wielaert who felt the tour organisers would opt for Utrecht in the future especially as the boss of the Tour, Christian Prudhomme, has told him several times how festive and atmospheric they found the start in 2015, when Utrecht made an indelible impression.
But Wielaert does not want a fight with Rotterdam He says you have to ask yourself whether you want to repeat the miracle of 2015.
If it can be matched at all, of course. It was such a big party in every way, a lot of people have warm memories of it. Cherish that.
A spokesperson for the city of Utrecht calls the plan about the world championship cycling ‘a sympathetic idea’. But it seems there have been no official discussions yet.
A spokesman said that there were ‘no plans’ at the Utrecht town hall to make a bid for a Tour start in 2025, just like Rotterdam. According to him, there was also no mention of another time.
Then maybe a Utrecht Tour start in 2030? Cor Jansen laughed
That is still very far away, I cannot really say anything about that now.”