Hope but still no certainty for 2020 Road World Championships

2020 UCI Road World Championships organisers Alexandre Debons and Grégory Devaud with UCI president David Lappartient – and event mascot Barry the St. Bernard – at the unveiling of the championships' routes
2020 UCI Road World Championships organisers Alexandre Debons and Grégory Devaud with UCI president David Lappartient – and event mascot Barry the St. Bernard – at the unveiling of the championships' routes (Image credit: UCI)

We are still no closer to knowing whether or not the 2020 UCI Road World Championships will be able to go ahead as planned in Switzerland in September, but there was cause for optimism on Wednesday as the Swiss government significantly relaxed its lockdown measures. 

Wednesday's update from Switzerland's Federal Council had been billed by newspapers in France and Belgium as make-or-break for the 2020 Worlds. 

However, despite a package of measures that will allow gatherings of up to 300 people by early June, events of more than 1,000 people remain banned until the end of August, at the earliest.

Large-scaled sporting events will have to wait until June 24, which is when the Federal Council will review the 1,000-person limit. As such, the 2020 World Championships will remain in limbo for another month. 

Yet, if there was no green light, the easing of lockdown - described as "quicker than anticipated" by one newspaper - will give hope to the organisers. The classification of the health situation - currently 'extraordinary' - is set to be downgraded on June 19, giving reason to believe the ban on mass gatherings might not be extended into September. 

While L'Equipe reported on Tuesday that the Worlds are practically assured to go ahead as planned in Aigle and Martigny, Het Nieuwsblad and AS recently reported that it was almost game over for the Swiss organisers, and that the UCI would attempt to salvage the Worlds by moving them to the Middle East in November. 

The organising committee of Aigle-Martigny 2020 - separate from the UCI - dismissed those reports and insisted it was business as usual.

"We are still in the process of organising the World Championships, as if they are still going ahead as always scheduled, in September," a spokesperson told Cyclingnews

"Of course, it depends on the health situation, and the decisions that will be taken by the Federal Council. But until we are told the event cannot go ahead, we are preparing as normal."

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Patrick Fletcher
Deputy Editor

Deputy Editor. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2022 he has been Deputy Editor, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.