Ale BTC Ljubljana, the team of Italian road race champion Marta Bastianelli, have cancelled their race programme until at least April 3 amid concerns and precautions surrounding the Covid-19 or coronavirus pandemic. The Italian-registered Women’s WorldTeam said they made the decision in an attempt to protect the health of their athletes and families.
"The team Alé Btc Ljubljana, considering the serious situation that is affecting the entire Italian and European national territory, decides to suspend at least until April 3 the sport activity," read a team statement on Thursday.
"An important part of the Team (not resident in Italy and therefore not subject to the strict restrictions defined by the Italian Council of Ministers) could have participated in the next races scheduled in Holland, but the management staff decided to rely on their civic sense and sports ethics that requires to safeguard first of all the health of the athletes and their families, thus deciding to suspend the competitive activities for the next 3 weeks.
"The decision that has been taken by the Team is a painful and difficult one, but we are aware that this position is the right one for the good and health of all."
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There is a long list of race cancellations across Europe include Women's WorldTour events Ronde Van Drenthe (Netherlands) and Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne and Gent-Wevelgem (both Belgium), along with earlier cancellations and postponements of Strade Bianche, Trofeo Alfredo Binda (both Italy), and Tour of Chongming Island (China).
Flemish regional government announced today that it has prohibited all sporting events up to and including March 31 in response to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. This will not only affect the WorldTour events but smaller events like Nokere Koerse and Omloop van de Westhoek.
At a Thursday afternoon press conference, Dutch health minister Bruno Bruins announced that all events in the Netherlands with more than 100 people attending are cancelled with immediate effect. This will also not only affect the WorldTour events but smaller races such as The Drentse Acht van Westerveld (1.2)
Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.
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