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2020 Mountain Bike Worlds in Albstadt cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic

Pauline Ferrand-Prevot wins the 2019 Worlds in Mont-Sainte-Anne.
Pauline Ferrand-Prevot wins the 2019 Worlds in Mont-Sainte-Anne. (Image credit: Rob Jones)

The 2020 Mountain Bike Cross-Country World Championships in Albstadt have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event was originally due to take place from June 25-28 but it was postponed in late March.

Germany has since prohibited all public gatherings of over 5,000 people until October 24, which has now forced the cancellation of the event. In a statement on Thursday, the UCI said that it was still working on finding an alternative venue for the 2020 Mountain Bike Worlds.

"The UCI and the organisers cooperated throughout the process, initially seeking a postponement of the event, before agreeing to take the difficult decision to cancel the Championships," read the statement.

"The UCI shares the disappointment of the cross-country community, and acknowledges the efforts made by the City of Albstadt, the German cycling National Federation (BDR) and the State of Baden-Württemberg in these difficult circumstances.

"The UCI and the organisers hope to collaborate on the staging of international mountain bike events in the very near future."

The mountain bike calendar has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with only one World Cup event – the E-MTB Cross-Country World Cup in Monaco in March – taking place thus far. All events until the end of June have been either postponed or cancelled, while the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been postponed until next year.

When the UCI announced a series of cost-cutting measures last month, it highlighted the importance of the mountain bike World Championships and World Cup events to its finances. Both the MTB World Cup and World Championships are sponsored by Mercedes-Benz. 

"The rounds of the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup are notably important in terms of revenue for our organisation," the UCI said last month.

On Thursday, the UCI confirmed that it is still seeking to hold the World Championships in 2020.

"The UCI will continue to work on ensuring that the UCI Mountain Bike Cross-country World Championships presented by Mercedes-Benz are staged in 2020," read the statement. "It will make an announcement on this as soon as possible."