In recent weeks, weather conditions have been cooperating and Holland began to experience a real "ice fever" once again. The tour takes place in the Dutch province of Friesland which is so over-full with provincial pride they even have their own flag and language. ("I'm not Dutch, I'm Fries!") This is something akin to the same pride I've experienced while being amongst my Texan buddies, but I digress.
The eleven cities that are part of the tour look on hungrily with euro signs in their eyes as the race approaches. For example, the Fries company that distills the alcoholic Beerenburg drink which is synonomous with the tour experienced a tremendous boost in sales as the people ran out to buy a bottle. The result? Hours later, there wasn't a bottle of the Dutch gin in the country to be had and we didn't even know yet if the race would take place.
To the disappointment of many, the tour club held a press conference this week to announce that there would not be a race held this year due to the inadequate thickness of ice. People publicly twittered their despair in record numbers and the sales of Nordic skates dropped dramatically. The country began to descend from its ice "high" and people got on with their lives. The good news is that there is now plenty of Beerenburg again for those still wanting to warm themselves from the cold!