Wednesday, 20 January 2021

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Racing through the streets of Brussels to champion the #GlobalGoals

#BXLTour Cycling race in the streets of Brussels

On 17 June, a small but extremely enthusiastic team of twelve UN cyclists joined thousands of other riders as they raced through the streets of Brussels during the second edition of the BXL TOUR.

The 40KM race was the perfect opportunity to bring together staff from several Brussels based-UN entities into one consolidated UN #SDGCycling Team. Although amateur riders at heart, the thrill of the race, echoing next year’s Tour de France time trial stage which will take place in the Belgian capital, saw all of the team’s members finish in time and with a series of personal records in the bag.

The race began at the Place des Palais where His Majesty King Philippe greeted participants. As racers crossed the finish line, they were welcomed by an extraordinary view of the Atomium, as well as by visitors and residents cheering on the cyclists as they arrived at the BIKECITY village, a gathering of exhibitors there to talk about mobility, road safety, the environment and innovations in cycling. Topics that showcase the important role cycling has to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 3, 11 & 13 especially).

The Tour de France’s passage through Brussels next year coincides with the 100th anniversary of the famed Tour de France Yellow Jersey (worn by the race leader). It was therefore truly fitting that this year’s start to the race was given by one of Brussels’ most famous residents, Eddy Merckx, record holder of yellow jerseys, which he proudly wore 111 times during his racing career.

For the City of Brussels, the BXL TOUR was an opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to supporting and encouraging cycling in the capital. To the UN Team, it was another great way to get involved in promoting the #globalgoals in a large public gathering whilst enjoying the sporting challenge of cycling the same route as the world’s best cyclists will next year.


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