If you find yourself in Spain this weekend, eager to witness Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert’s cycling showdown, there’s one thing you won’t be doing: riding your bike to the event.
In a surprising departure from the norms seen at races in Holland and Belgium, the organizers are discouraging spectators from using bicycles to access the course. Their FAQ section on the race’s official website outlines the rules:
“Are bikes allowed inside the venue? For safety reasons, you may not bring your bike. There won’t be a designated area to park or store them. Only accredited people can access by bike, always at Calle Capitán Cortés.”
As noted by road.cc, it seems counterintuitive to encourage driving instead of cycling to a bike race. The UCI’s own sustainability guidelines and ‘travel and transport checklist’ explicitly state that organizers should “promote the use of public transport and cycling rather than personal vehicle use.”
The organizers do say that it’s possible to use public transport to the venue, however.
While it’s unlikely that Mathieu van der Poel will be swapping his Lambo for the bus anytime soon, it raises eyebrows that fans of the sport can’t use a more environmentally-friendly means to reach the race course. The action kicks off on Sunday, and Canadian Cycling Magazine will provide a comprehensive report on both the men’s and women’s races afterward.