Elfstedentocht still some way off

Claims that the Netherlands could stage the 200 km skating race known as the Elfstedentocht next week are premature, local ice chiefs said on Wednesday.


The ice would be coming close to being thick enough if it was ‘-10 Celsius at night and -5 Celsius during the day for at least a week’, race organisers told the Telegraaf.
Earlier, weatherman Harry Otten told Dutch world service radio if the people of Friesland start clearing snow from the ice, the classic race could be staged next week.
The Elfstedentocht is a 200km race around the 11 cities of Friesland which was last held in 1997. As well as professionals, some 15,000 amateur skaters take part.