“The Europeans who didn't come, it's their fault. They regret not having come. It is now too late. They called me to ask if it was okay, if there were no problems. I told them there is nothing. Those who called me were Switzerland, the Germans and especially the Dutch. They regret it a lot,” the sporting director of the Belgian Tour du Faso team Herman Vessens told the AIB.
Testifying to the good organization of this 34th Tour of Faso, the leader of the Belgian runners added that “I did not feel that there is a situation of insecurity here in Burkina. We were comfortable. There is nothing here. I said that to other Europeans. I don't know why they made this an issue. We were well taken care of.”
Herman Vessens (73 years old) has 20 Tours du Faso under his belt and promises that “if there is good health, Belgium will still be there in the next editions. I have already come to Burkina Faso 90 times since 2000 (we came 3 or 4 times a year to do drilling for villages. It's difficult with the heat but it's okay.”
For the best Belgian rider Wouters Rutger, who came 2nd in the general classification, “the safety of the Tour was very good. However, the entire European Union had said that it is very dangerous here in Burkina and in West Africa. The Belgian embassy had asked not to come but we came and there was no problem. We are happy."
Sports director Herman Vessens found the level of the competition average given the absence of certain European teams who did not come.
“It's a bit average. But the Burkinabè team is very strong, especially Paul Daumont. He was the fastest in the stages each time. He beat us five times with the Moroccans. So that means that he is the real winner of this Tour du Faso,” he said.
The Tour du Faso 2023 brought together 13 teams from 11 countries for a competition which took place from October 26 to November 5, 2023.
The 71 runners covered 1187,600km in 10 stages crossing 7 regions of Burkina. It was the Burkinabè Paul Daumont who won the yellow jersey ahead of the Belgian Wouters Rutger with 25 seconds in advance.
Source: Burkina Information Agency