The UCI president, David Lappartient, has taken to social media to announce that the venue for the 2020 Road World Championships will be announced on Wednesday, September 2, a day later than originally suggested, as cycling's governing body work to secure a venue that will provide a hilly road race course comparable to the cancelled Worlds in Switzerland.
Upon announcing the cancellation of the World Championships in the Swiss towns of Aigle and Martigny on August 12 – due to the Swiss government's coronavirus restrictions preventing the gathering of more than 1,000 people – the UCI announced that it would "work towards finding an alternative project to ensure the 2020 edition of the event can take place, with the priority being in Europe and at the dates initially scheduled".
Candidates to have emerged in the past few weeks to host the event – which is set to take place from September 20-27 – include Valdera, in Tuscany, Italy, and France's Haute-Saône department, with its climbs in the Vosges mountains, including La Planche des Belles Filles, which features on the penultimate stage of this year's Tour de France.
"The UCI will look for a host city that would be able to provide a route as challenging as that in Aigle-Martigny, and which would therefore suit the same type of riders who had initially planned to participate in Switzerland," the governing body wrote, with the candidates having applied to host the event so far ticking such boxes.
However, on Sunday, Lappartient tweeted a picture of France's Bernard Hinault winning the Worlds road race in Sallanches, in the French department of Haute-Savoie, in the French Alps, in 1980, accompanied by the message: "Forty years ago, Bernard Hinault took the rainbow jersey during the epic 1980 World Champs in Sallanches.
"We're happy to announce the UCI Road World Championships legend will continue in 2020 with a new venue. More info to come on September 2," the Frenchman wrote.
The somewhat cryptic message could mean that Sallanches will be the new venue for the 2020 Worlds, or that another French venue has been selected – or that Lappartient simply wanted a nice picture of a French rider winning the Worlds to accompany his announcement, with the decision to be made known on Wednesday.
40 years ago Bernard Hinault took the Rainbow Jersey during the epic 1980 World Champs in Sallanches. We're happy to announce the UCI Road World Championships legend will continue in 2020 with a new venue! More info to come on 2 september. pic.twitter.com/dJVNooE7neAugust 30, 2020
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