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Tour of Guangxi cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic

Enric Mas won the 2019 Tour of Guangxi
The 2019 men's Tour of Guangxi (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The Tour of Guangxi men's and women's races have become the latest UCI WorldTour event to be cancelled due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Chinese government had already stated last month that it would not hold most of its planned international sporting events for the remainder of 2020, and on Monday, Tour of Guangxi organiser Wanda Sports confirmed that both the men’s and women’s races would not go ahead this year.

The men’s Tour of Guangxi was scheduled to take place from October 15-20, while the women’s event was due to be held on October 20. The revisions to the UCI calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant that the events would have overlapped with both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España.

“Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still certain risks in hosting international sports events. Therefore, the Sports General Administration of China recommended in the recent official statement to cancel all international sports competitions within the country during the rest of the year,” read a statement from event director Terry Zhang.

“In the past six months, we have done our best to ensure the progress of all preparations for our race to be held on schedule. But, unfortunately, in the end we still have to accept this reality and reached a consensus and with The Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and The Chinese Cycling Association on cancelling [the] 2020 Tour of Guangxi.”

Zhang added that both the UCI and the participating teams had already been informed of the cancellation. The Tour of Guangxi was first held in 2017, becoming the second Chinese event to be part of the WorldTour calendar after the defunct Tour of Beijing, which was held in the same, October slot from 2011 to 2014.

The Tour of Chongming Island also appears unlikely to go ahead in 2020. The Women’s WorldTour race was postponed from May to October 23-25, but it no longer appears on the Women’s WorldTour calendar published on the UCI website.

The Tour of Guangxi has been included on the WorldTour calendar for 2021, with the men’s race scheduled for October 14-19 and the women’s event set to take place on October 19. The 2021 Tour of Chongming Island is scheduled for May 6-8.

The Tour of Guangxi is the thirteenth event on the men’s WorldTour calendar for 2020 to have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic after the Volta a Catalunya, Tour of the Basque Country, Tour de Romandie, Tour de Suisse, Clásica de San Sebastián, E3 BinckBank Classic, RideLondon–Surrey Classic, Eschborn–Frankfurt, Dwars door Vlaanderen, EuroEyes Cyclassics, GP de Québec and GP de Montréal.

The UCI Road World Championships, scheduled for Aigle-Martigny from September 20-27, are also in doubt due to the current restrictions on public gatherings in Switzerland. A decision on the event is expected after the Swiss Federal Council announces updates to its COVID-19 measures on Wednesday.

On Friday, the Worlds organising committee acknowledged that the event “cannot be held without a significant easing of the measures for events of more than 1000 people.”