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FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine to miss Challenge by La Vuelta due to COVID-19 risks

The podium of the 2019 Madrid Challenge
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope team have announced they will not take part in the three-day Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, which is due to bring down the curtain on the Women's WorldTour season next week, due to concerns about the safety of their riders and staff. 

The Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta 2020 is due to be held between the 6th and 8th of November and coincide with the final stage of the men's Vuelta a España. However, with severe COVID-19 restrictions in many parts of Spain and especially high case numbers in Madrid, there are doubts about the event going ahead.  

The Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta is organised by Unipublic and Tour de France organiser ASO. Back in May, it confirmed the race would last three days but no details of the route have ever been announced.   

France began a nationwide lockdown on Friday and that was also a factor in FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine's decision not to race. 

"Following the latest government announcements and the evolution of the pandemic we have taken the decision to take no risk for our cyclists and staff," the team said in a brief announcement on social media.     

"We have therefore decided to cancel our participation in the Challenge by La Vuelta from the 6th to the 8th of November. We thank the organisers for their understanding in this as they are fighting to save the race, and we wish all participating teams the best success and safety."

Last year’s race consisted of two stages, with Lisa Brennauer winning overall. 

The rescheduled 2020 women's season has been hit with a number of late cancellations in recent weeks. The first ever women’s Paris-Roubaix was cancelled, and then Bretagne Ladies Tour in France was also cancelled.

Lorena Wiebes was the last winner on the WorldTour circuit, winning the AG Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne on October 20, two days after Chantal van den Broek-Blaak won the women’s Tour of Flanders.

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