Removal of 108 dossard must stop, says Belgian Federation
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Removal of 108 dossard must stop, says Belgian Federation

by Ben Atkins at 3:16 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, National Championships
Number will not be removed from national road race in tribute to Wouter Weylandt although fate means it will not be at the start

wouter weylandtWednesday’s race in Halle-Ingooigem, Belgium, went ahead without a 108 dossard, according to Sporza. The number was removed from the race “in homage to Wouter Weylandt, who had his accident in this number,” according to the race organiser. The Belgian was wearing number 108 when he died after crashing on the descent of the Passo del Bocco during the Giro d’Italia in May.

The Giro has permanently retired the number from its race and a few races are following suit, for this year at least. Surprisingly though, despite the well-meaning nature of the gesture, the Belgian Cycling Federation (KBWB/RLVB) is not impressed with the move.

“It has to stop," said KBWB/RLVB Telecommunications Commissioner Freddy Van Steen. "This way, Weylandt’s death will always be in the news. That is why the federation won’t be doing this at the national championships on Sunday.”

While number 108 was on the start list though, it will not be appearing in the race, despite the intentions of the KBWB/RLVB. Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Cervélo) was due to wear the number, but he will miss the race through injury.

“American Belgians” not barred from race over missed social security payments

This morning the Belgian media reported that Ben Hermans and Sébastien Rosseler (both RadioShack) and Jan Ghyselinck (HTC-Highroad) had been barred from taking the start in Sunday’s race because of missed social security payments. Reportedly, their employer contributions are not paid by the teams, as they are by the Belgian teams.

The KBWB/RLVB has issued a statement denying that this was the case, although it has referred the issue to the International Cycling Union (UCI) for advice on how to proceed. The federation’s management committee will meet on Wednesday next week to discuss whether to take any action, meaning that all three riders will be clear to race at the weekend.


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