Coronavirus Latest: Strade Bianche Cancelled As Teams Withdraw From Major Races
The 2020 Strade Bianche will not go ahead and other major Italian races remain in limbo after a government decree banning major outdoor sporting events in Italy due to the Coronavirus.
Organisers of Strade Bianche, which was to be held this weekend, wrote to WorldTour teams to say "We are sad to announce that Strade Bianche will not be disputed."
RCS Sport, the company behind the race - along with Milan San Remo, Tirreno-Adriatico, the Giro & other major events - said government restrictions were behind the cancelation.
"After last night's decree was made with authorities, the impossibility to start the race emerged. Due to the coronavirus emergency Italian authorities blocked the organization. Please advise all your staff and riders."
In Other Developments
In other major Coronavirus news more WorldTour teams have announced the temporary withdrawal from racing.
- Mitchelton-Scott's Men's & Women's teams will not race until at least March 22.
- Team Ineos have withdrawn from racing until the end of March.
- Groupama FDJ have withdrawn from a number of races with some riders still being held in quarantine in an Abu Dhabi hotel.
- Lotto-Jumbo will not attend Tireno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo.
- UEA Team Emirates, CCC, Astana and Mitchelton-Scott say they will not start Paris-Nice.
Dark Cloud Over Paris-Nice
Meanwhile medical professionals from 14 teams have written to the UCI requesting the 2020 Paris-Nice be cancelled.
In a public response the UCI said any decision to cancel races would be the responsibility of the host country.
"The decision has been taken not to proceed with the cancellation of any events at this stage," the UCI said.
"Any possible decision to cancel will be taken by the health authorities in the concerned regions depending on the evolution of the local situation and different risk factors identified."
"For the events still taking place, it has been decided that each organiser must take a certain number of measures with the aim of limiting to a maximum the risk of the coronavirus spreading further."
The UCI said for those events still taking place a number of safeguards would be put in place including -
- Increasing the distance between the public and riders, particularly in the start and finish zones.
- Respecting a strict medical protocol, variable depending on the country.
- Dealing with suspected cases and the provision of a detailed map of establishments capable of carrying out diagnostic tests.
- Limiting the number of teams staying in each hotel.
- Respecting certain hygiene measures, eg avoiding the use of the same pen by riders signing on for a stage start.
Latest Bicycling Australia Podcast
The latest Bicycling Australia podcast is out now. This week we spoke with journalist Peter Maniaty along with specialist travel and cycling writer Amy McPherson about Coronavirus, mandatory helmet laws, the latest edition of the magazine and more. You can listen to the podcast here.
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