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Coronavirus decimates US pro road calendar as Tulsa Tough cancelled

Justin Williams wins the Ladner Criterium in Canada
(Image credit: Cylance Cycling/Oran Kelly)

The USA Cycling Pro Road Calendar for 2020 has been slashed in half by the coronavirus pandemic, with the Tulsa Tough weekend of criterium racing the latest event to be cancelled. Last week the governing body moved to suspend all event permits through May 31, putting the Armed Forces Cycling Classic weekend in the window of halted events.

Organisers of the Saint Francis Tulsa Tough, which was scheduled for June 12-14, 2020 in Oklahoma, have decided to cancel their event in advance of any further action by USA Cycling because vendors are unable to commit resources to produce the event and with healthcare providers already stretched there is no guarantee to ensure the event's safety.

"The medical community needs a chance to get this virus under control so we can all feel safe coming together and enjoying the top-tier experience that people have come to expect from Saint Francis Tulsa Tough," the press release stated.

"All current registrations for crits and fondos will automatically be deferred to the June 11–13, 2021 Saint Francis Tulsa Tough. Because of the generous support of our sponsors, those who prefer a refund may request one. Registrants will receive instructions on deferrals and refunds."

Executive Director Malcolm McCollam said that cancelling the race was the responsible choice. "We will be working hard to make sure the 15th Saint Francis Tulsa Tough is worth the wait and hope to see everyone back in 2021."

Unlike Europe, the US cycling calendar had yet to get underway before the pandemic  led to the postponement of the early events. The Joe Martin Stage Race, Alabama Cycling Classic, Wilmington Grand Prix and Winston-Salem Classic scheduled for April and May were postponed, with this month's Redlands Bicycle Classic, Tour of the Gila and June's Rochester Twilight Criterium cancelled. 

Organisers of the Armed Forces Classic have yet to confirm their plans, but an announcement on the race website favoured cancellation over postponement.

Organisers of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah cancelled their event on April 3.

The next races on the calendar are the Chrono Kristin Armstrong and Andersen Banducci Twilight Criterium in July and the Colorado Classic at the end of August, with the Gateway Cup, Maryland Cycling Classic and Thompson Bucks County Classic in September.

The coronavirus pandemic has infected nearly two million people around the world and more than half a million in the United States, where it has caused the deaths of over 23,000 people.