The battle for contracts in the COVID market

CIUDADRODRIGO SPAIN NOVEMBER 06 Start Omar Fraile Matarranz of Spain and Astana Pro Team Carlos Verona Quintanilla of Spain and Movistar Team Alexander Edmondson of Australia and Team Mitchelton Scott Salamanca City Peloton Bridge Landscape during the 75th Tour of Spain 2020 Stage 16 a 162km stage from Salamanca to Ciudad Rodrigo lavuelta LaVuelta20 La Vuelta on November 06 2020 in Ciudad Rodrigo Spain Photo by David RamosGetty Images
Dozens of riders in the Vuelta a España peloton were fighting for 2021 contracts (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

At the end of a season, the sight of riders competing for chances to sign contracts and stay in cycling's top division – the WorldTour – is not a new phenomenon, but 2020 has seen the spectacle amped up even beyond the usual churn of teams and sponsors.

It has been a season like no other, not just disrupted but fully upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. In CCC, a WorldTour team is disappearing due to financial circumstances brought about by the effects of the virus on the world economy, while uncertainty and budget cuts around the rest of the peloton have meant dozens of riders fighting over a decreasing number of places in this, the COVID market.

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Andrew Greaves is the head of journalism at News Associates. Find him on Twitter here.