Coronavirus claims Paris-Roubaix, as cycling loses more top races
Paris-Roubaix, the highlight of the spring calendar in cycling, has fallen victim to the coronavirus epidemic with Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege also being postponed.
The cobbled Monument, scheduled for April 12, has now been called off with France entering a state of lockdown in order to try and stem the transmission of the virus, which has caused worldwide chaos.
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Fleche Wallonne, April 20, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, April 26, have also been posted by organisers ASO and the UCI.
A statement said: "As part of the fight against the spread of Coronavirus (COVID19), Amaury Sport Organisation, with the agreement of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), has decided to not organise Paris-Roubaix (12th April) on its scheduled date.”
The cycling season has already suffered severe disruption with the Giro d'Italia, the first Grand Tour of the season and due to start in March, postponed.
Paris-Nice finished a stage early last week and multiple teams had already withdrawn their riders from racing.
Speaking on the latest edition of The Bradley Wiggins Show, available now on all major podcast platforms, the cycling great talked about the potentially 'devastating' impact the virus could have on the world of professional cycling.
"Cycling is the least important thing compared to other things in life, but this is still their livelihoods," Wiggins said on the podcast.
" We keep saying ‘it’s only sport’ but for these guys the financial implications for the sponsors and teams – this could be devastating for a lot of them."
"It did seem odd that, with everything else going [being cancelled] and the crisis in Italy at the moment and just the outpouring of love for Italy that we were going very close to their [Paris-Nice] towards Nice with a massive bike race, celebrating that, when this thing is getting very serious.
"There’s no toilet roll, no paracetamol, and this massive bike race is going on.
"You see the Premier League is going and those things, and you think, why did Paris-Nice ever go ahead really, when we’d already lost Tirreno-Adriatico and teams…?"