In a troubling development for Dutch cycling, the men’s Ronde van Drenthe, a staple in the professional race calendar, has been called off by organisers citing a confluence of escalating costs, increasing regulatory pressure, and safety concerns. This news was delivered with clarity by the event’s long-standing chairwoman, Femmy van Issum.
The challenges mentioned have not only troubled the organisers but have also cast a shadow of uncertainty on local staff and hotels. However, clarity has now been reached through discussion with various stakeholders. The organisation made it known that their painful decision is currently only for the 2024 event. They did leave a glimmer of hope for the future, suggesting that the men might return to the pro calendar in 2025.
As a result of this cancellation, Per Strand Hagenes of Jumbo-Visma will retain the title of the last winner of the Ronde van Drenthe for the foreseeable future.
Women’s Races to Continue in Drenthe
While the men’s race faces a hiatus, the female side of the competition remains unscathed. The Women’s WorldTour event, scheduled for Sunday, 10 March 2024, will proceed as planned, along with the Drentse Acht van Westerveld taking place on Saturday, 9 March. Both events fall under the umbrella of the same organising body and are set to showcase the talent within women’s cycling next season. Lorena Wiebes won last year’s snow-affected edition.