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2020 Japan Cup cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic

Bauke Mollema wins the 2019 Japan Cup ahead of Michael Woods. (Image credit: Getty Images)

The 2020 Japan Cup has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The ProSeries event was due to take place on Sunday, October 18.

The race, which takes place in Utsunomiya Forest Park, site of the 1990 World Championships, has been held in October as a season-ending event since 1992, but the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have forced its cancellation for the first time. Since 2010, the Japan Cup weekend had expanded to include a criterium on the preceding day.

News of the cancellation of the Japan Cup was confirmed in a statement on the race website by Utsunomiya City mayor Eiichi Sato, who is also the head of the organising committee.

"2020 Japan Cup Cycle Road Race, scheduled to be held from the 16th till the 18th of October, 2020 has been cancelled due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

"We kindly ask all fans who have been looking forward to the event to understand. Aiming for next year’s 2021 edition, we will strive to further enhance its appeal as the only ‘UCI ProSeries’ classified in Japan. We also appreciate the continued support and cooperation for Japan Cup Cycle Road Race by the sports association, stakeholders, sponsors, and local residents."

The coronavirus pandemic has already forced the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics until next year, while the interruption to the cycling season has seen the UCI revise its calendar for the latter part of the season.

On the original UCI calendar, the Japan Cup would have clashed only with the Tour of Guangxi, but the revisions to the schedule meant that the event would have taken place on the same day as the Tour of Flanders and also clashed with the Giro d’Italia.

Five WorldTour teams participated in the 2019 Japan Cup, where Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) beat Michael Woods (EF Education First) to the line just over a week after his solo victory at Il Lombardia.