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Coronavirus restrictions force Ladies Tour of Norway cancellation

Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv)
Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Organisers of the Ladies Tour of Norway have announced that they have been forced to postpone the four-day stage race due to social-distancing and foreign travel restrictions in pace due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. The event was scheduled to take place from August 13-16 as part of the revised late-season Women's WorldTour calendar, but will now look toward a return in 2021.

"It is mainly the rules regarding social distancing with 1 meter and the restrictions regarding entering Norway for foreigners that makes it impossible for us," says race director Roy Moberg.

"We have tried everything and we have asked for advice from the government and the responsible people for the restrictions, but we have got no promises that things will be different by mid-August."

The UCI announced the revised-late season calendar in May and the Women's WorldTour had initially retained 18 of the original 22 events. It included five stage races and 11 one-day races.

However, organisers of the two one-day races PostNord Vårgårda WestSweden team time trial and road race also cancelled their events due to travel restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus. 

The cancellation of the Ladies Tour of Norway and the two Vårgårda events means that the Women's WorldTour calendar has now been reduced to 15 events.

The UCI President David Lappartient stressed that the published revised calendar remained highly dependent on the development of the COVID-19 virus along with the health precautions and guidelines stipulated in each nation.

Moberg said that the Ladies Tour of Norway is an international sport event with top riders from all over the world, however, those high-profile teams and riders may not have the possibility to enter Norway to compete in the event.

"We have looked at all possible scenarios, even to organize without audience and with the necessary protections for COVID-19. But without riders we can not organize a WorldTour-race. So it is with a heavy heart we have taken this decision, but we promise to come back strong with a new 'Ladies Tour of Norway' in August 2021 at the highest level," Moberg said.

Last year, Scandinavian race organisers - Ladies Tour of Norway, Vårgårda West Sweden and the Danish Federation - unveiled plans for a new ten-stage event that they believe will be the hardest race on the women’s calendar. The new race was to be known as the Battle of the North and set to make its debut in 2021, however, organisers have said those plans are now "unsure" due to the impacts of COVID-19.