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First BXL Tour bike race brings traffic to standstill

22:03 25/06/2017

Brussels' alderman for sports says the city will "learn lessons" from the traffic chaos caused on Sunday by the inaugural BXL Tour 50km bike race.

The race - which Brussels sees as a rehearsal for the 2019 Tour de France grand depart - was fully subscribed, with 3,000 cyclists following the route around the capital from the Bois de la Cambre.

Bruxelles Mobilité said traffic was at a standstill in several areas, with many of the inner ring road tunnels closed as well as a stretch of the A12. RTL said some drivers had reported journey times of two to three hours to cross the capital.

"We will learn lessons in time for the second edition," sports alderman Alain Courtois said. "The first edition of the Brussels 20km (run) wasn't without its problems."

Courtois, who himself took part in the race, said he hoped the BXL Tour would become a tradition, adding: "It's the first time that the cyclist is king in Brussels."

28-year-old cyclist Björn De Becker finished the 50km in 1 hour, six minutes, 49 seconds. Among those taking part were 60 members of the cyclists' rights group Gracq with the aim of raising awareness of bike safety issues in the city.



Traffic chaos in Brussels due to lack of and/or faulty planning by a city alderman? Well, that's a first, isn't it? At least they have 2 years to figure it out. Maybe they can try planning in advance or simplify matters and rename the traffic authority Brussels Immobilité.

Jun 26, 2017 09:57

It was pretty obvious that the organisers had not much of a clue about organising something like this, and participants in the "race" were often needlessly put at risk.

How hard can it be to avoid traffic problems when the route is planned long before? It's sad that these facts make the news for something that could have been a great event.

Let's hope they learn from it - and ask for help - It's not as if it's hard to find someone with experience in bike racing around here...

Jun 28, 2017 17:00

I participated there and it was fun. Had to entrust EduBirdy with all my paperwork just to have free time and get ready for the race.

Jun 30, 2017 09:30

Yeah probably wasn't the best idea to hold it during roadwork on the ring AND a major Muslim holiday

Jun 30, 2017 10:32