Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Kiwi cyclist in Belgium: You've got to carry on

Cyclist Sam Bewley. Photo / Ben Fraser
Cyclist Sam Bewley. Photo / Ben Fraser

New Zealand professional cyclists have been caught up in the horror of the Belgium bombings and Sam Bewley says security fears remain for their upcoming races.

Bewley arrived two days ago at Brussels Airport, the scene of one of the bombings, and is now staying about 70km away in Gent preparing for races including the 100th edition of the Tour of Flanders on April 3.

He said cyclists would "try to carry on with what we do and stay strong...with respect to the victims."

"We are close enough ( to the bombing scene) and the whole of the world is feeling the effects," the Rotorua cyclist told RadioSport.

Listen to Sam Bewley talk to Radio Sport's Matt Brown:

"We've got a race scheduled for tomorrow and there are ongoing discussions with organisers at the moment. If they decide to go ahead there will be some alterations - a moment of silence at the start, no podium celebrations at end of the race.

"They've now got to go to the Government in Brussels and talk about the threat level and see if it still possible, if they are okay for us to race

"The towns we start and finish in will provide more security. It's up to the Government now and if we cant race it's fine as well."

Bewley said the biggest fortnight in Belgium cycling is about to start.

"There will be 100s of thousands of spectators on side of rod especially for the Tour of Flanders. They've got to make make sure safety is guaranteed for riders and the people on the side of the road. There is a lot of thought and discussion going into it.

The Orica-GreenEDGE rider said countryman Shane Archbold was due to arrive today (Wednesday NZ time) and while having to make alternative arrangements, had tweeted he would make tomorrow's start line.


"A couple of other guys are flying to Paris and will rent a car to Belgium. Jesse Sergent is supposed to arrive here on Thursday," Bewley said.

"This puts a big dent in cycling programme but that is the least of our worries and the least of world's problems at the moment.

"Across Europe the threat and concern for us is a bit higher. Brussels is probably our most frequent airport.

"What can you do? You've got to carry on with what you do, try to not let these people out there who do stupid things affect us too much, stay strong and try to carry on and with respect to victims.

"Some of the management in our team are from Belgium. Imagine being in your home country when this happens. The whole world feels shock and so many people are affected. It's pretty sad."

- NZ Herald

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