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Coronavirus: Volta a Catalunya to restrict public access

Astana´s Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez overall leader celebrates next after winning the 99th Volta Catalunya 2019 on March 31, 2019 in Barcelona.
Astana´s Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez overall leader celebrates next after winning the 99th Volta Catalunya 2019 on March 31, 2019 in Barcelona. (Image credit: Getty Images)

The President of the Spanish Cycling Federation has confirmed that Spanish road-races including the Volta a Catalunya are to restrict public access to starts and finishes in the latest ramping up of measures against the coronavirus.

"The example to follow would be that of Paris-Nice," where the public are now barred from access to starts and finishes, Federation President José Luís López Cerrón told Cyclingnews on Wednesday.

"But that's our instructions at the moment. However, each individual region of Spain and their respective health authorities will be applying their own specific rules as well, and they will have the last word on what happens.

"For example, Valladolid [in the north of Spain] is allowing a mountain bike race to go ahead this weekend, and there is no order stipulating the opposite, but in Murcia [in the south-east]  my understanding is that all sporting events" - including bike races -  "have been banned for the next 15 days."

López Cerrón pointed out that there could be further changes in the future to the regulations for road racing. "Every region decides what happens, but circumstances are changing fast everywhere," he added.

A press release issued by the Federation adds that following a state decree published on Tuesday barring the public from indoor and stadium sports, all track events, regardless of category, will be carried out behind closed doors.

Cyclingnews understands from sources close to the Volta a Catalunya that as of Wednesday lunchtime the race, set to take place from March 23-29, is still going ahead with the new restrictions in place. Although there has, as yet, been no official statement from the race organisation to that effect.

Meanwhile, Spanish website reports Ciclo21 reports that the Volta ao Alentejo stage race in Portugal, categorised 2.2 and scheduled to run from March 18-22nd, has been cancelled as a precaution against coronavirus.