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Troféu Joaquim Agostinho postponed due to COVID-19 case in race organisation

(Image credit: Getty Images)

This weekend’s Troféu Joaquim Agostinho stage race in Portugal has been postponed until September following a case of COVID-19 in the race organisation. The UCI 2.2 event is a traditional curtain raiser for the Volta a Portugal, which had already been postponed after host towns expressed reservations about welcoming race amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Mindful of the commitment and effort made to put the event on the road, the organisation of the Grande Prémio Internacional de Ciclismo de Torres Vedras – Troféu Joaquim Agostinho announces that it has been hit with a case of COVID-19, which led to a period of quarantine for several members,” read a statement from the race organisation on Tuesday.

“The organisation understands that at this moment the risk and the epidemiological situation is best served by postponing the event to September 19-20, a consensual decision taken by the presidents of the race organisation, the Portuguese Cycling Federation and the City Council of Torres Vedras.”

The event has been held in the vicinity of Torres Vedras, 50km north of Lisbon, every year since 1978. The race is named in honour of the late Joaquim Agostinho, Portugal’s greatest rider, who hailed from the area. A two-time podium finisher at the Tour de France, Agostinho died from injuries sustained in a crash at the 1984 Volta ao Algarve.

The 2020 edition of the Troféu Joaquim Agostinho was initially due to feature three stages, but the organisation cut the event to two days as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic in Portugal. The event has been rescheduled for September 19-20, which overlaps with the final weekend of the Tour de France and the opening day of the UCI Road World Championships in Martigny.

The Volta a Portugal, originally scheduled for July 29-August 8, was postponed last month and a new date for the event has been to be announced.

The international cycling season was interrupted in March due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, though a number of events have taken place at national level in recent weeks, including the Slovenian Championships road race, the Swiss Championships time trial and the Belgian kermesse races.

The UCI calendar is due to resume this week with the Sibiu Tour in Romania, though the Alpecin-Fenix team of Mathieu van der Poel has said that it will make a final decision on its participation on Wednesday due to concerns over a spike in cases of COVID-19 in Romania.

Twelve WorldTour teams have been confirmed for the ProSeries Vuelta a Burgos (July 28-August 1), while the WorldTour calendar is due to resume on August 1 with the rescheduled Strade Bianche.