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No room for Volta a Catalunya in revised 2020 calendar

Miguel Ángel López was crowned winner of the 2019 Volta (Image credit: Getty Images)

Despite efforts to rearrange what would have been a celebratory centenary edition, the Volta a Catalunya will not take place in 2020, the organisers announced on Monday. 

The week-long WorldTour race will instead mark its 100th edition in 2021, in its usual slot in the last week of March.

Having been postponed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the organisers had hoped to find a date for the 2020 edition later in the year. However a new provisional autumn calendar, with the Tour de France in September, followed by the World Championships, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España - has proven to be too congested to find a place for the weeklong Volta a Catalunya.

A full calendar, with specific dates for the Giro and Vuelta as well as certain one-day Classics, is expected to follow a key UCI meeting on Wednesday. The two Grand Tours are expected to overlap by a week, with the Classics  held at the same time throughout October.

"The absolute priority now is to fight COVID-19 and avoid its spread. The cycling calendar that the UCI has made official has been reduced to practically three months, and we want to celebrate a 100th edition with the maximum guarantees and with the best world cyclists," said the Volta's race director, Rubèn Peris.

"We are very clear that we do not want to do the Volta at any price. It would not make sense to do it coinciding with the Tour, the Giro or the Vuelta, competing for the best riders and the television audiences. We also did not consider organise it in a reduced format of days. We believe that the most appropriate option is to organise the race on our usual dates in 2021."

The Volta a Catalunya was first held in 1911 and, after disruptions during the First World War and the Spanish Civil War, had run interrupted from 1939 to 2019. 

It has been raced in March since 2010 and has become a key test for Grand Tour riders thanks to its forays into the Pyrenees, with recent winners including Miguel Angel López, Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana, and Richie Porte. 

"We have to be positive, and we are sure that the wait will be worth it," Peris added.

'Though not doing it this 2020, next year it will continue to be the Volta of the centenary of editions, a very special anniversary."