Organisers of the PostNord Vårgårda WestSweden announced Thursday that they have cancelled their two one-day events, the team time trial and road race scheduled for early August, due to travel restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus. Chairperson of Vårgårda CK Helen Henriksson said she expects the two races to return to the Women’s WorldTour calendar in 2021.
"Of course, it is very sad, but after talks with both the municipality and sponsors, we do not see opportunities in this situation to gather together the organization required for the competition and the bicycle party that includes the whole weekend," said Henriksson.
"But as it seems now that there are restrictions on being able to move at all, we saw no other way to stop. It's sad but we feel we made the right decision. Now we look forward and expect to be back with the World Tour in August 2021."
The UCI has suspended all racing due to public health restrictions amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic until July 1, and August 1 for men’s and women’s WorldTour events. The sport governing body announced a revised late-season Women’s WorldTour that is expected to begin on August 1 and end on November 8.
The calendar includes 18 Women’s WorldTour events with five stage races, including a shortened Giro Rosa (September 11-19). There will also be 13 one-day races including La Course (August 29), the three Ardennes Classics – La Flèche Wallonne (September 30), Liège-Bastogne-Liège (October 4) and Amstel Gold Race (October 10) – along with Tour of Flanders (October 18), and the new Paris-Roubaix (October 25).
PostNord Vårgårda WestSweden Road Race and Team Time Trial kept their original dates on August 8 and 9, and so would have been during the second weekend of Women’s WorldTour racing on the revised calendar, after Strade Bianche on August 1 in Italy.
The cancellation of the two one-day events means that the revised Women’s WorldTour will now be reduced to 16 events. The UCI has stressed, however, that the published revised calendar remains highly dependent on the development of the COVID-19 pandemic along with the health precautions and guidelines stipulated in each nation.
During the 2019 edition of the PostNord Vårgårda WestSweden, Trek-Segafredo took the victory ahead of Canyon-SRAM and Team Sunweb in the team time trial, while Marta Bastianelli won the road race ahead of Marianne Vos and Lorena Wiebes.