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First BXL Tour bike race brings traffic to standstill
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.