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Brittany willing to organise European Championships ahead of Tour de France

Italy's Elia Viviani wins the elite men's road race at the 2019 UEC Road European Championships in Alkmaar in the Netherlands
Italy's Elia Viviani wins the elite men's road race at the 2019 UEC Road European Championships in Alkmaar in the Netherlands (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The previously postponed UEC Road European Championships may be able to be run this season after all following an offer by the organisers of the men's Bretagne Classic Ouest-France and the women's GP de Plouay-Lorient Agglomeration Trophée WNT to stage the championships just ahead of this year's Tour de France, according to reports in the French media.

The 2020 European Championships were scheduled to take place in Trentino, Italy, from September 9-13, but have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and its effect on Italy, and are set to instead take place at the same venue at around the same time in 2021.

While that plan remains in place, the UEC (European Cycling Union) have remained hopeful that there could still be the possibility of staging the 2020 championships at an alternative venue, and, according to L'Equipe, the UEC contacted the mayor of Plouay, Gwen Le Nay, who in turn put the possibility to the organisers of the men's one-day WorldTour race the Bretagne Classic and the women's GP de Plouay-Lorient.

"We are ready to organise the event," Jean-Yves Tranvaux told L'Equipe on Sunday, "while rearranging the programme and dates so as to still organiser the Bretagne Classic and the GP de Plouay-Lorient."

The organisers' two races had been scheduled for August 25 and 26, but would presumably be moved to an earlier or – perhaps more likely – later date on the UCI calendar.

"The European elite men's road race could then take place on Wednesday, August 26, which would mean that riders could then go from there to the Tour de France," said Tranvaux, with the Tour having been rescheduled for August 29-September 20, starting in Nice.

While the news has not yet been made official due to the health authorities yet needing to give the event the green light, Tranvaux is hopeful that the championships will take place in the week preceeding the Tour.

"I think we should know more in early June following the announcements that should be made as part of the second phase of deconfinement in France," he said.

"Before being asked about the European Championships, we had already decided to limit access to the Plouay circuit to 3,000 people, with paid tickets and reservations on the internet," Tranvaux revealed, referring to the finishing circuit of the Bretagne Classic, which attracts the bulk of the spectators at the one-day race.

"With 25 kilometres of barriers and an open area of seven hectares, we have the infrastructure necessary to organise the event really well, with the ability to secure the site," he said.

At last season's European Championships, the elite women's road race was won by the Netherlands' Amy Pieters, and the men's road race was won by Italy's Elia Viviani.

The elite men's time trial was won by Remco Evenepoel of Belgium, while Dutchwoman Ellen van Dijk won the women's event.