Coronavirus pandemic: International Cycling Union president David Lappartient hopes to reschedule postponed races later in year

UCI president David Lappartient told French television on Wednesday that he has 'good hope' several races can still go ahead.

The Associated Press March 18, 2020 19:25:29 IST
Coronavirus pandemic: International Cycling Union president David Lappartient hopes to reschedule postponed races later in year

Paris: The president of the International Cycling Union hopes the Giro d'Italia and other races postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak can go ahead later this year.

Coronavirus pandemic International Cycling Union president David Lappartient hopes to reschedule postponed races later in year

Paris Nice cycling race over 166 kilometres starting in Nice and finishing in Valdeblore La Colmiane, France, Saturday, 14 March 2020. AP

Four one-day classic races to be held next month were cancelled this week. The Paris-Roubaix cobblestone race, the Fleche Wallonne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Amstel Gold race have all been called off.

The Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo were already postponed along with the Giro, which was to start on 9 May.

UCI president David Lappartient told French television on Wednesday that he has “good hope” several races can still go ahead.

“In the coming days and weeks we will work on remodelling the calendar, depending on the evolution of the epidemic,” Lappartient told France TV. “The first possibility is to reprogram the monuments of cycling (the classics) for the autumn. For that, we have the possibility of pushing back the end of the season by two weeks to 31 October.”

Most people quickly recover from the virus after experiencing only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people with mild illness recover in about two weeks.

Lappartient said he is consulting with Italian race organizer RCS about holding the Giro “probably in autumn.”

The Giro would not start as scheduled from Hungary, he added, and the route may be redesigned and shorter. It was set to be the first time a Grand Tour visited Hungary, with the capital city of Budapest holding a stage starting from Heroes’ Square.

“The Giro is obviously part of our priorities and we have good hope to see it taking place," Lappartient said. "With regards to the Tour (de France), for now, nothing changes.”

ASO has yet to announce a decision on the three-week Tour, which is set to start in Nice on 27 June.

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