The Vuelta a San Juan will not take place for the second consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s event was scheduled to take place from January 30 to February 6 but local officials and the race organisers announced on Monday that it would not go ahead following the recent spike in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant.
2019 winner Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl), Filippo Ganna, Elia Viviani (Ineos Grenadiers) and Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) were among the riders who were slated to start their 2022 seasons in Argentina. They and their teams will now have to redesign their early season calendars and perhaps ride early season races in Spain or France.
The Vuelta a San Juan is the latest early-season event to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic for the second successive year following the cancellation of the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race in Australia. The 2022 Tour Colombia has also been cancelled due to financial difficulties stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The organization of the Vuelta a San Juan announces that, in light of the health situation in the world, the region, the country and the province due to COVID-19, and considering the various statistics that are known from the official entities, it has been decided to suspend the Vuelta a San Juan as an international event,” read a statement from the race organisers.
The organisation added that it was continuing to assess the possibility of holding the 2022 Vuelta a San Juan as a strictly domestic event with local teams.
At a press conference in San Juan on Monday, the province’s sports secretary Jorge Chica explained that the increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks meant that the event could not go ahead.
“Throughout the health situation, the governor and government of the province have always had in mind that the priority is the health of the people of San Juan,” said Chica, who described the decision as a necessary one.
“It saddens those of us who love sport, but also because of the positive economic impact that these events have.”
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