The 2021 Vuelta a San Juan has been cancelled due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in Argentina. The event had been due to take place from January 24-31.
Chris Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation), Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) had been among the riders planning to start their seasons at the Vuelta a San Juan, though it became apparent in recent weeks that international riders would not be able to travel to attend the race. Sagan already confirmed on Sunday that he will instead begin his season in late February at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
The Vuelta a San Juan organisation considered the idea of holding a race with a field limited to domestic riders and national teams from South America, but San Juan governor Sergio Uñac announced at a press briefing on Monday that the event will not go ahead in any form in 2021. The race organisation issued a statement confirming the decision shortly afterwards.
“The organisation of the Vuelta a San Juan announces that it has decided to suspend the Vuelta Ciclística a San Juan, which is part of the UCI Pro Series 2021 Calendar,” read the statement.
“The decision arises and corresponds with facts that are public and well-known, as well as the recommendations of national and international organisations regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“San Juan will continue working with the same passion and spirit for the growth of the sport and of this Argentinian classic, which will seek in the coming years to maintain its international character.”
The COVID-19 pandemic forced a revision of the 2020 calendar and its impact is continuing to be felt on the early-season schedule for 2021. The Tour Down Under, Great Ocean Race and Herald Sun Tour in Australia have all been cancelled, while the Challenge Mallorca race series on the Spanish island has been postponed until May, forcing teams to redesign their early-season race calendars.
The Vuelta a San Juan first took place in 1982 and has been held every year since. Following the demise of the Tour de San Luis, the Vuelta a San Juan stepped up to become a UCI 2.1 race in 2017, attracting several WorldTour teams in the process. The event formed part of the new UCI ProSeries last year.
Bauke Mollema won the first international edition of the race in 2017, followed by Oscar Sevilla in 2018 and Winner Anacona in 2019. The 2020 edition was won by Remco Evenepoel ahead of Filippo Ganna, while Fernando Gaviria claimed a hat-trick of sprint wins.