VN news ticker: Flanders 2021 publishes its environmental impact, Essex working on 2026 Tour de France grand départ bid

Here's the news making the headlines on Wednesday, December 1.

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Flanders 2021 publishes its environmental impact

The Flanders 2021 world championships claims to be the “greenest” on record in a recent sustainability report published by the organizers. According to the report, the competition emitted 2,292 tonnes of CO2 during the whole week, which was equivalent to”1,380 return flights from Brussels to New York.”

The 58-page report says that by using, electric cars, biodiesel, and reusable catering material — among other items — the one-week event was able to reduce its carbon footprint by 52 percent. While the organization made some big changes, the calculations did not include the carbon footprint of the many fans who traveled to the event.

According to the report, 95 percent of energy was from “green” sources and an additional 45 trains were scheduled to allow people to travel to the event.

“From our candidacy in 2018, sustainability was one of the absolute core values for the world championship,” Christophe Impens of Flanders 2021 said. “After all, a sporting event of this magnitude also has an important social role. Together with a multitude of partners, we have made a very strong commitment to reducing our footprint, to greener mobility, and to an inclusive event. We are of course very pleased that these efforts have had an effect and that this has been investigated and established so comprehensively for the first time.”

Flanders 2021 says it cut emissions by 52 percent
Flanders 2021 says it cut emissions by 52 percent (Photo: Flanders 2021)

Essex working on 2026 Tour de France grand départ bid

A town in the UK county of Essex wants to bring the Tour de France back to its streets.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service reported Wednesday that Southend-on-Sea’s local council is working with MP James Duddridge to ensure its inclusion in the route for the 2026 grand départ, if the UK’s bid is successful.

Funding of £30 million ($41.4 million) was set aside by the UK government at the end of October for two major sporting events, including the 2026 grand départ.

Southend-on-Sea, which will soon be given city status, was one of the towns visited by the Tour de France when it last visited in 2014. It also recently held the finish of stage 4 of the Women’s Tour in October.

“The government announced that it will be putting money towards bidding for more major events in the UK, including a fund to get the Tour de France to the UK,” councilor Dan Nelson said.

“I’m of the view Southend proved to itself that we can hold major cycling events, and I am pleased to say that James Duddridge agrees with me and has written to the secretary of state asking them and making sure that Southend is a part of that bid, and I’m hopeful that we will be successful.”

Tour du Rwanda unveils route and teams

The organizers of the Tour du Rwanda have unveiled the route for the eight-day race and announced a team line-up that includes one WorldTour and five ProTeam squads. The 14th edition of the increasingly popular race will take place from Sunday, February 20 to Sunday, February 27.

The race will open with a four-kilometer ITT in Kigali and then head out into the hills for stage 2. Day three to Rubavu will feature four first-category climbs and over 2,000 meters of climbing. Indeed, there is very little road without climbing during the race with most days featuring some tough ascents.

Bringing the race to a close will be two hard days of climbing and summit finishes at Mont Kigali and Canal Olympia.

Israel Start-Up Nation headlines the teams announced Wednesday, with TotalEnergies, Drone Hopper Androni, B&B Hotels, Novo Nordisk, and Burgos BH also set to line up. Several national teams, including Rwanda, Great Britain, Eritrea, Algeria, and Morocco, will take part.

Completing the list of teams set to line up next February are home squad Benediction Ignite, Wildlife Generation Pro, Tarteletto-Isorex, Pro Touch Team, Bike Aid, TSG Terengganu, Team Coop.