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Vuelta a Burgos clears first hurdle for post-coronavirus edition

Ivan Sosa (Team Ineos) wins Vuelta a Burgos
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The post-COVID-19 calendar received a boost after the regional government of Burgos approved organising the 2020 Vuelta a Burgos, a 2.Pro-ranked stage race, from July 28 to August 1. The final decision will be made by the Ministry of Health which sets requirements for events to be held as the coronavirus pandemic eases.

"If we can meet those requirements, we will be there," said the president of the provincial government César Rico according to burgosconecta.es.

Race organisers have sent a letter to Salvador Illa, the Minister of Health, to ask for authorization of the event and for the guidelines that must be followed.

"The main thing is public health," Rico said. 

While the regional budgets have been stretched by the coronavirus pandemic, Rico said, "The Vuelta budget is untouched, the organization continues to work, but we are concerned about the sanitary conditions that may be imposed."

As yet, the government has not made any decisions on how professional cycling can go forward in Spain and has only addressed league sports such as football, which will take place without spectators. What rules will be set down to secure an entourage of approximately 1,400 people touring the province is unknown.

There have been over 27,000 coronavirus deaths in Spain and nearly a quarter million cases, but a strict lockdown has slowed the spread over the past month. The country went from a peak of 9600 cases in one day to just under 500 on Sunday.

The government began a gradual loosening of restrictions, allowing restaurants to serve a limited number of customers and beaches to re-open. The country expects to welcome international travellers in July - but foreigners will have to quarantine for 14 days.

"We are in an extremely serious health situation," Rico has said, "We must not let our guard down."

The race is expected to attract much of the top WorldTour talent as riders rush to hone their form for the Tour de France at the end of August. The stature of the race - which has among its past winners Ivan Sosa, Mikel Landa, Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana - could be higher than ever.

Even the socialist party, which has in the past been critical of the provincial government funding sporting events, supported it being held this year. "If any year it makes sense to celebrate the Vuelta Ciclista a Burgos, it is 2020," said Socialist party representative David Jurado.