European flight cancellations affect riders' travel to Amstel Gold Race
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Friday, April 16, 2010

European flight cancellations affect riders' travel to Amstel Gold Race

by Bjorn Haake at 1:18 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Amstel Gold Race
 

Most northern European airports have shut down due to a volcano in Iceland spreading its ashes into the international airspace. This affected a string of riders heading to the Amstel Gold race in Maastricht, Netherlands. Cars and trains were the alternatives used by the international peloton.

Oscar Freire, who lives in Switzerland, had to cancel his plan to fly to Düsseldorf, Germany. The only German airport still open is the one in Munich, but it will close Friday evening at 8pm local time. Freire headed to Basel, Switzerland, by train instead and was then picked up by car from Rabobank's press manager Luuc Eisenga.

The Cervélo TestTeam also needed to rearrange things, although only a few team members were affected. "Most of our riders are already in Holland for the Amstel race as they arrived before the Brabantse Pijl," said Theo Maucher, Cervélo TestTeam operations manager.

"The flights today for Carlos Sastre, Volodimir Gustov and Xavier Tondo where cancelled. Xavier Tondo is on his way to the Netherlands by car and we hope to get Carlos and Volodimir there by plane tomorrow [Saturday]. There is nothing we can do about it right now and we will just have to wait for the latest news tomorrow".

The Frankfurt airport is scheduled to open again on Saturday at noon If other airports open around that time as well, Sastre and Gustov can hope to make it in time to the beer race.

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