Posted by Editoress on 08/12/20
The Swiss organizers of the 2020 Road Worlds have announced that they will not hold the event, which was scheduled to take place September 20-27. The decision is based on two factors - public health restrictions on the number of people allowed at any event; and quarantine regulations that would keep athletes from 45 countries for entering the country to participate. This will be a huge blow to the UCI, since the Road Worlds is their number one revenue generating source on an annual basis.
The UCI has not yet made a statement, and there are rumours that they will look at moving it to a Middle Eastern country, such as Oman or Qatar. [Note: the UCI has now made statement - see at the bottom] The event organizers did make a statement:
The Organising Committee of the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Aigle-Martigny has taken note of the ruling from the Swiss Federal Council regarding the measures aimed at fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic in special circumstances, which stipulates that major events with more than 1000 visitors or involving more than 1000 people are not permitted until 30 September 2020.
Therefore, the organisation of the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Aigle and Martigny is impossible and also because since 8 August more than 45 countries are subject to quarantine when entering Switzerland, which would not give the event the necessary recognition and would not allow many of the 1200 riders, from Juniors to Elite, from 90 countries, the opportunity of coming to defend their chances. With eleven races over eight days, the specific nature of a Road circuit race in terms of social distancing and spectator crowds constitute an insurmountable obstacle with significant constraints.
We would like to sincerely thank the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the Confederation, the Cantons of Vaud and Valais, the Communes of Aigle and Martigny, Swiss Cycling, public and private sponsors, volunteers, service providers and cycling fans for their commitment, support and passion since our designation in September 2018.
"We are sad and disappointed. We have worked hard for more than two years to deliver a magnificent event on an extraordinary circuit.
In spite of the constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to work with passion to organise the UCI Road World Championships, which would have been remembered for their sporting value but also for the beauty of our cantons and the richness of our culture and region.
We realise that the national and world health situation requires precautionary measures and our thoughts are with all those affected by this virus," said Grégory Devaud and Alexandre Debons, Organising Committee Co-Presidents.
Note: The UCI has subsequently made a statement that they are working to find an alternate venue in Europe for the same dates, with a final decision to be made by September 1st:
Given the sporting importance of the UCI Road World Championships for cycling, the UCI would like to clarify that it will work towards finding an alternative project to ensure the 2020 edition of the event can take place, with the priority being in Europe and at the dates initially scheduled. It could include all or some of the planned races. The UCI will look for a host city that would be able to provide a route as challenging as that in Aigle-Martigny and which would therefore suit the same type of riders who had initially planned to participate in Switzerland.
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