A large number of cycling's major races have been cancelled or postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, while the Giro d'Italia has been postponed.
Here is a rundown of the current state of play.
RACE STATUS - MARCH
|Kuurne - Bruxelles - Kuurne||01/03 - 01/03||Complete|
|Tour de Taiwan||01/03 - 05/03||Complete|
|La Drôme Classic||01/03 - 01/03||Complete|
|Le Samyn||03/03 - 03/03||Complete|
|Le Samyn des Dames||03/03 - 03/03||Complete|
|Tour of Oman||03/03 - 08/03||Cancelled|
|Strade Bianche||07/03 - 07/03||Cancelled|
|Paris – Nice||08/03 - 15/03||Still on despite French government ruling|
|GP Industria & Artigianato||08/03 - 08/03||Cancelled|
|GP Jean-Pierre Monseré||08/03 - 08/03||Complete|
|Tirreno – Adriatico||11/03 - 17/03||Cancelled|
|Ronde van Drenthe||14/03 - 14/03||Cancelled|
|GP de Denain||19/03 - 19/03||Cancelled|
|Bredene Koksijde Classic||20/03 - 20/03||Cancelled|
|Milano – Sanremo||21/03 - 21/03||Cancelled|
|Volta a Catalunya||23/03 - 29/03||Cancelled|
|Brugge - De Panne||25/03 - 25/03||Cancelled|
|Settimana Coppi e Bartali||25/03 - 29/03||Cancelled|
|E3 BinckBank Classic||27/03 - 27/03||Cancelled|
|Classic Loire-Atlantique||28/03 - 28/03||Cancelled|
|Gent – Wevelgem||29/03 - 29/03||Cancelled|
|Cholet Pays de La Loire||29/03 - 29/03||Cancelled|
Paris-Nice to finish early
Paris-Nice will finish with Saturday's queen stage after ASO announced that Sunday's final stage has been cancelled.
In agreement with the authorities, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the City of Nice, the organisers of Paris-Nice have decided to judge the finish of the race tomorrow, Saturday, at the end of the 7th stage in Valdeblore-La Colmiane. The decision, made in the context of the reinforced fight against the propagation of the coronavirus epidemic, cancels the final stage originally scheduled to take place around Nice on Sunday.
Milan-San Remo has been cancelled. The opening Monument of 2020 was due to take place on Saturday 21 March.
The Tour of Flanders has been cancelled. It was due to take place on April 3.
Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege are currently scheduled to go ahead as planned.
The Grand Tours
The Giro d'Italia has been postponed, with an announcement about its future coming no earlier than April 3.
"Given the national and international situation, RCS Sport announces that the date of the Giro d'Italia 2020 is postponed," a statement released on March 13 read.
"The new date will be announced no earlier than April 3 when the provisions of the Prime Ministerial Decree of March 4, 2020 end and after the organization has dealt with the Government, local and territorial authorities and Italian and international sports institutions."
The organisers of the Tour de France are not currently considering cancelling the event, with director Christian Prudhomme telling France television:
Only two world wars have stopped the Tour de France.
“We are constantly adapting,” he added. “Remember when the Tour was blocked last year in Tignes. We have an activity that goes through roads and villages. A lot happens sometimes before the tests. We must constantly react and find solutions. So we have this ability to change our plans if necessary. Whenever local authorities ask us for something, we do it. It is even our specialty.”
Team Ineos temporarily withdrew from racing after the death of sports director Nicolas Portal and amid coronavirus concerns.
"Team Ineos have taken the decision to withdraw temporarily from all racing until at least March 23. We have notified the UCI that we will not be competing in any races during this period," Ineos said in a statement.
We have taken this decision given the unique set of circumstances we are facing following yesterday’s tragic news about Nico Portal. And clearly we recognise there is also a very uncertain situation with Coronavirus more widely.
Movistar announced it is to halt its racing activities for it's women's and men's programs until at least 22 March amidst continuing concerns about the spread of coronavirus, releasing the below statement.
"This choice, made after consideration of the advice given by the team doctors, takes into account of the current situation related to COVID-19.
"The Movistar Team, looking to preserve the health of all its members, as well as every person in touch with the sport of cycling, makes a decision which seeks to contribute, to the extent of its possibilities, to returning to a normal situation."
Astana Pro Team
Astana Pro Team have withdrawn from racing until at least March 20.
General Manager Alexandr Vinokurov: “With this measurement, we have chosen to protect the health of our riders and staff and to take our responsibility for the society in not further spreading the virus.
Of course, we would have preferred to participate in all upcoming races, but for now, it’s safety first. We still have a long season ahead with many other important races.
It was not an easy decision, but we have to protect the cycling family as well as our own families at home.
EF Pro Cycling
EF Pro Cycling asked the UCI and race organisers RCS Sports to withdraw from the three major races, Milan-San Remo, Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico - races that were subsequently pulled from the calendar.
The Dutch outfit were the first team to withdraw from the Italian races and later announced that they would not compete at Paris-Nice on the advice of medical professionals.
“This hurts and it is disappointing”, director Richard Plugge of Team Jumbo-Visma said.
But this is the best decision we can take at the moment. As management, we have a responsibility to carefully assess all the risks involved. At the moment they are too significant to ignore.
“Cycling has a unique character and travelling and staying in hotels is inherent to the sport. That makes us vulnerable in this corona crisis. The health of riders, staff and public now deserves our priority. We also take into account circumstances that may arise such as quarantine, illness or hospitalisation.”
The Australian team have withdrawn its teams from the next period of racing until at least March 22.
The team withdrew ahead of Stage 6 of Paris-Nice due to concerns over the spread of the virus.
Following consultation with the team’s riders, medical staff and other stakeholders, and in light of the rapidly escalating public health risks associated with the Covid-19 virus, the decision has been taken to repatriate all team personnel to their homes as soon as possible.
"Rolling restrictions on movement across Europe and the health of the entire team mean this precautionary measure is an immediate priority," the statement continued.
"Team Bahrain McLaren wishes to thank the UCI, the ASO, the AIGCP and its competitor teams for their understanding and support at this time.
"The team extends its appreciation to its partners and the many thousands of passionate fans and communities that have supported all of the riders throughout this great race."