The European Cycling Union (UEC) has decided to move the 2016 European Championships in light of security concerns following the terrorist attacks in Nice last month. The UEC still holds hope of finding a new location for the event, which is due to take place from 14-18 September.
"Given that it was an event that would have required a large police presence and that we have not received any guarantees about their deployment, the cycling championships that Nice was due to hold in France's name are cancelled," Nice mayor Philippe Pradal said on Friday, according to the BBC.
Nice is still reeling from the terrorist attack that hit the heart of the city on Bastille Day. A man claiming allegiance to the terrorist group IS drove a truck into crowds celebrating the French national day on the Promenade des Anglais, killing 85 and injuring hundreds more. The European Championships were due to take place on a route using several sections familiar to the final stage of Paris-Nice. The UEC backed up the decision by the Nice mayor to cancel the event.
"This decision is justified on the grounds of safety as this event required a huge security presence which cannot be guaranteed because the significant constraints," the UEC wrote in a statement. "We would like to assure you that the Union Européenne de Cyclisme is already looking for an alternative venue on the dates already scheduled.
"The Union Européenne de Cyclisme would like to express its full solidarity with the city of Nice at this difficult time as well as with the victims' families."
AFP has reported that there are two potential new hosts, one in France and the other outside, although they did not say where.
For the first time since the European Championships were inaugurated in 1995, elite competitions are due to be held alongside the under 23 and junior categories. Former winners of the under 23 road race include Stefan Kung and Sean de Bie in the men's race, and Marianne Vos and Kasia Niewiadoma in the women's. Niewiadoma won last year's race ahead of Ilaria Sanguineti in Tartu, Estonia, while Erik Baska beat Mamyr Stash to the men's title.