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Postnord Vargarda WestSweden team time trial and road race cancelled

Marta Bastianelli wins 2019 Postnord Vargarda WestSweden
Marta Bastianelli wins 2019 Postnord Vargarda WestSweden (Image credit: Getty Images)

Organisers of the Postnord Vårgårda WestSweden announced that they have, for the second year in a row, cancelled the team time trial and road race that were scheduled for August 7 and 8 in Vårgårda, Sweden. The two back-to-back Women’s WorldTour one-day races were cancelled last year due to COVID-19.

"Great uncertainty about the pandemic affects the economy. As a non-profit association, we can and do not dare to risk the association's finances and survival, said Helen Henriksson, chairperson of Vårgårda CK.

"Even though the infection is now on the way down, there is still great uncertainty about a number of factors that affect the economy. All local side events have already been put on [hold] before. The work of Corona-securing the entire event and extensive testing requirements entails large costs. Overall, we see no opportunity to take the financial risk.

"Now we can put all our energy into next year. Then we will arrange a real bike party. That must be the positive thing about this sad decision," Henriksson said.

The city of Vårgårda annually hosts two back-to-back one-day races on the Women’s WorldTour; a team time trial on August 7 and a road race on August 8. 

The time trial is one of the last of its kind on the top-tier calendar but still attracts all the best teams, while the road race is suited to the punchy sprinters. 

Trek-Segafredo won the team time trial and Marta Bastianelli won the road race in 2019. The two events were cancelled last year but organisers had planned to make a return in 2021. 

Organisers were initially part of the plan to create a 10-day stage race called the "Battle of the North" between Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. However, It has been reduced from its original 10-day proposal after organisers of Vårgårda events opted not to be part of the new stage race event.

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.