The RideLondon Classique, scheduled as part of the Women's WorldTour for May 31, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was announced on Friday.
It was also reported on Friday that the Dubai Women's Tour has been cancelled, leaving the women's peloton with a dearth of early-season racing opportunities.
The organisers will not look to hold the race at a later date, making for a two-year absence after last year's cancellation and leaving the 2021 Women's WorldTour with 19 of its 22 events following the cancellation of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Itzulia Basque Country.
A statement was made on Friday to announce the cancellation of the RideLondon festival of cycling, which features a mass-participation ride. No mention was made of the Classique but the organisers later confirmed to Cyclingnews that the race will not happen this year.
"We know it is very disappointing news that the events planned for May cannot take place, especially for charities, as more than £80 million has been raised for good causes since the first event in 2013," said event director Hugh Brasher. "However, I am sure everyone understands why this decision has been made and we look forward to welcoming participants and the professional peloton to ride the streets of London in 2022."
RideLondon had been part of the Women's WorldTour since its first edition in 2016, but was dropped from the top-tier series in 2020. That edition ultimately did not take place but, even as the men's event was scrapped altogether, it returned to the Women's WorldTour for 2021, until Friday.
Kirsten Wild won in 2016 and 2018, with Coryn Rivera triumphing in 2017 and Loreno Wiebes in 2019.
Also on Friday, another blow to the women's calendar was reported, as Italian national coach Dino Salvoldi told La Gazzetta dello Sport that the Dubai Women's Tour - scheduled from February 5-8 has been cancelled.
The race was first held last year, when Lucy van der Haar won, but now joins the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, Vuelta CV Feminas in the growing list of early-season races to be scrapped. The new Itzulia Basque Country Women's WorldTour event planned for May 14-16 is now listed as postponed, as is Ronde van Drenthe, which has requested an October date.
"This worries everyone," Salvoldi said. "From here we had planned to go to Dubai, but the race was cancelled, and the same happened for two races in Spain in Valencia. We as a national team will return to do two sessions a week at the Montichiari velodrome. But it won't be easy to cover a month just with training."
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Deputy Editor - Europe. 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 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, 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.
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