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2021 Tour of Antalya cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic

The WorldTour peloton
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The Tour of Antalya will not take place in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2.1 race was scheduled for February 11-14 and was slated to feature six WorldTour teams, an increase of five on last year’s event.

A spokesperson for the race told Wielerflits that the Turkish cycling federation and ministry of sport had cancelled this year’s edition of the Tour of Antalya.

"It is a drastic decision, but due to the pandemic it may well be the right decision by the cycling federation and the ministry," the spokesperson said. 

"It is also a great responsibility. We as an organization do everything we can to organize it as well as possible, but you never know what could happen."

Team DSM, Astana-Premier Tech, UAE Emirates, Israel Start-Up Nation, Deceuninck-QuickStep and Movistar had all been due to send teams to Turkey. First held in 2018, the Tour of Antalya was set to attract a higher quality field than normal this year following the cancellation of the Tour Down Under and Herald Sun Tour in Australia and the Tour Colombia.

There is uncertainty, too, over the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina, scheduled for January 24-31. In November, the race organisation confirmed that they intended to hold the event as planned, with Deceuninck-QuickStep, Bora-Hansgrohe, Cofidis and Israel Start-Up Nation among the competing teams and Chris Froome a likely participant.

A race bubble and testing protocol has been planned for the event, while the route was tailored to minimise the COVID-19 risk, with five of the seven stages starting and finishing at Autódromo El Villicúm. 

Argentina’s air and land borders are currently closed until January 8 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, and Ciclismo Internacional reports that the race might be limited only to domestic teams. The Argentinian website reported that the Vuelta a San Juan organisation was due to meet with local government to discuss the matter on Tuesday.

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