EFE · Road Competition · 12/01/2021
The arrival of the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic and the strong outbreaks of Covid-19 once again put cycling in a difficult situation when it comes to taking the races off the calendar. Although the vaccine is expanding, the new strains of the virus and the numbers of infections have forced the first suspensions.
More than 90 million infections in the world and two million deaths reduce spirits when launching a globalized sport. The usual appointments at the time of opening the season, the Australians of the Tour Down Under scheduled between 19 and 24 January and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race saw it impossible to force the peloton to maintain a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the country.
“The international component, with more than 400 people making up international teams, has proven to be the most difficult to overcome. The risks related to quarantine and international border closures are too great impediments for teams that have endured a 2020 season. stressful, challenging and compressed, “said Hitaf Rasheed, Australian test manager.
These races were suspended by the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and the Womens Herald Sun Tour, which were to be held in the first days of February. In this way, the World Tour calendar will premiere on February 21 with the UAE Tour, the race that had to be suspended in 2020 due to the first positive cases of coronavirus in full competition.
Tour Colombia and Vuelta a San Juan say goodbye until 2020
At the other end of the world the season has to wait. The Tour Colombia, a booming test in America, announced its withdrawal until 2022 “due to the high number of active cases, outbreaks in the world and the difficulty of providing all the guarantees related to the biosecurity protocols for the caravan”
The last to throw in the towel was the Return to San Juan, where the Belgian Remco Evenepoel won in 2020 and this year is due to present the debut of British Chris Froome with the colors of the Israel Start-Up Nation.
The governor of the Argentine province of San Juan, Sergio Uac, announced this Monday the suspension of the Argentine test that was going to take place between January 24 and 31.
In the height of summer in Argentina, San Juan recorded 23 new infections in the last 24 hours and accumulated 12,382 positives since the pandemic began. The San Juan government decided to reverse the project.
Mallorca Challenge postponed, Valencia opens calendar
“The situation is complicated to take the races forward,” Marcos Moral, president of the Spanish Association of Race Organizers (AEOC), assures EFE. The opinion of the veteran organizer is supported by the launch of the Vuelta a Burgos 2020, the first on the international calendar after confinement, at a time of “maximum difficulty.”
You have to go day by day, says Marcos Moral, but for now in Spain the health crisis has forced the XXX Cycling Challenge of Mallorca to be postponed, scheduled for January 28-31, given “the serious health crisis that the island is experiencing because of the covid-19 “, according to the organization of the test, which had included in its poster the Slovenian Tadej Pogajar and the Colombian Egan Bernal, the last two winners of the Tour de France.
The Mallorcan race will try to postpone the appointment between May 13 and 16, with permission from the International Cycling Union (UCI).
Without the Challenge, the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana will be the one that opens the Spanish calendar with one of the most sought-after tests on the UCI ProSeries circuit, in which Pogacar won a year ago.
THE EXAMPLE OF THE RETURN TO BURGOS 2020
“The pandemic has brought a new outbreak and a lot of caution is required while the vaccines arrive. The contagion is being seen to be impressive, worse than in August, the month of” Covid holidays. “People are very sensitized and the situation is complicated to get the races. You have to go day by day, “says Marcos Moral.
Despite the health complications, the organizer Burgals is in favor of “preparing the races as if they were going to be held, without standing still and working from day to day, although later they cannot be done.”
“In spite of everything I am optimistic. We have the example in the Vuelta a Burgos 2020. We fought hard and we took it out, we must push forward with caution, because a contagion can cause death and nothing is worth more than life,” he says Moral.
The president of the AEOC recalls the pressure to open the 2020 international calendar after confinement, with the whole world looking towards Burgos.
“We had the responsibility of being the first to organize and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. It must be said that they supported us a lot, on the one hand the Tour in terms of morality and the Vuelta in terms of participation. The race came out because Unipublic was by our side. We demonstrated to the society that life goes on. It was like a challenge “
“Until May it will cost a lot to do races, but from then on I trust it will be more feasible.”
Carlos de Torres
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