The Giro d'Italia has been postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, race organisers RCS Sport said on Friday.
Spring races across the calendar have been cancelled due to the spread of COVID-19 and already on Friday Hungarian officials had cancelled the start of the Giro with the opening three stages due to take place there - as well as the opening time trial through Budapest's historic centre, two more stages were scheduled in Hungary before the race swung back to Italy.
However, now the race organisers have confirmed the first Grand Tour of the season has been postponed, with an announcement on a new date not expected until April 3 at the earliest.
Italy is in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic which has so far killed more than 1,000 people in the country and prompted the government into restricting movement until at least April 3.
The Giro has been due to start on May 9 and run through to May 31.
RCS STATEMENT IN FULL
In response to the spread of the coronavirus the Hungarian government has declared a state of emergency. This prohibits the organisation of mass events and makes it impossible to organise international events.
As a consequence, the Organising Committee of the Giro d'Italia's Hungarian stages declared that the Giro's start could not be held in Hungary at the originally scheduled time. All parties have agreed that they are determined to work together to enable the Giro d'Italia to depart from Hungary at a later time.
Given the national and international situation, RCS Sport announces that the date of the Giro d'Italia 2020 is postponed.
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.