Snow and freezing temperatures forced the cancellation of racing in Europe Sunday, cutting short what is traditionally the Europe’s kick-off to the racing season. Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in Belgium and the GP di Lugano in Switzerland were canceled. Even the Classic Sud Ardèche as far south as Montmeyran in France seemed to be in jeopardy, although the decision to race was finally made there.
Riders and organizers alike awoke to falling snow and freezing temperatures. Discussions began immediately in Belgium between government officials and race organizers about the possibility of racing. While an adjusted course deemed safer in bad weather was available the final decision was racing itself could not be conducted safely on any course.
In Switzerland, at the GP di Lugnao, six inches of snow had already fallen by the time the riders awoke and the decision was immediate, they would not race.
Riders seemed to universally praise the decisions as race organizers put riders safety before every other concern, despite the fact that VIP's and fans had already begun to make there way to the race course in Belgium. Smaller races in Spain and the Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia are continuing as planned.
With only a smattering of 1.1 and 1.2 races coming up mid-week, European racing will get under way in earnest again with Paris-Nice, March 3rd to the 10th.