Soccer canceled, cyclocross no. In Koksijde the sport of terror won

“Such voices really were. I spoke with a representative of the International Cycling Federation, who told me that Wednesday was not really sure if she was going. They eventually allowed it after a lengthy deal, but because everything was so uncertain, they did not even say anything to the world, “said Pavla Havlíková, the fourth of the women’s Sunday race.

In Belgium, according to recent reports, Salah Abdeslam one of the paratroopers in Paris. The harder decision was in Koksijde.

Eventually, however, the organizers allowed the enterprise with the addition that large races would take place at the racetrack. “We received an email from the mayor and the police chief that the race could take place.We will not interrupt anything, “she told Isabelle Deshayes of Koksijde last Wednesday.

But at the same time, the fans were warned to come, if possible, only with a purse and a ticket. All bags, rucksacks and handbags should remain at home.

“Metal detectors will be used at the entrance to the premises, so checking may take a long time. Leave your bags at home and come in time, “the organizers advised before the weekend.

At the same time, fans were reassuring that their safety was not in jeopardy. “It’s the first time we organize the race behind the terrorist threat.But during the World Cycling Championship three years ago, we have developed a robust security plan that we can now use, “said Mayor Koksijde Mark Vanden Bussche.

It was a bold Wednesday decision, considering the cancellation of two football friendly matches from the previous day.

His role was certainly played by the place where he went on Sunday. The sandpit racecourse is located in the Belgian military area. “It was a great advantage, the whole area is surrounded by fences and guarded by soldiers. In my opinion, there was no safer place in the whole of Belgium, “Havlíková convinced.

Cyclists have had less Sunday coverage than the fans.Even before the race all participants received their personal number, they had to indicate the number of their license plate. “So no one else could pass through. We had our corridor that we were passing through, “the Czech cyclist was describing the atmosphere there.

But the competitors were the only ones who could pass through the entrance control without any problems. “There were such electronic plaques, like an airport, when you do not run through the X-ray. And it did not matter if you were an organizer, fan or mechanic. That was strict, “the coach Petr Dlask said.

” People had to take out all the metal stuff out of their pockets, they had to show the contents of the backpack.And the backpacks of the mechanics passed through that electronic plaque, “said Dlask.

Even during the pre-start shout, Pavla Havlikova noticed that the checks are a little different than usual. “I saw that who had a backpack, waiting for a rather long and unpleasant check, which was scarcely paid. So most of the fans I’ve seen have come really light. And the organizers met them – everything they could not take with them, they could buy at the racetrack later. It was good that everyone respected them and that the checks were running smoothly. “Even after a security check, sometimes someone had to show the contents of the backpack. “Dogs stood everywhere, and when a bag did not seem to be, the dogs were sniffing.They were well looked after, “said Petr Dlask, according to which perhaps fewer people came from terrorist threats. “There was more going on in Koksijde. On Sunday there were about ten thousand, but I also experienced twenty thousand. Spectators stood in several rows behind, which was not the case this year. “

Sunday races eventually went without any complications. “Racing may now seem unnecessary, but I feel we should continue. We should live the same way, race the same way and not allow terrorists to fear in us, “said American cyclist Katie Compton.