The international cycling calendar continues its unsteady start for 2021, with the cancellation for a second consecutive year of the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe – Pays de la Loire.
Organisers announced Thursday the four-day stage race, set for April 6-9, would be postponed until 2022, due to the COVID-19 “health crisis” rocking France.
The decision was made jointly by the organising committee and the stage cities, “taking into account the global health situation and the exceptional nature of the pandemic, the difficulties that arise for the organisers of cycling events given the constraints imposed by the emergency rules to be applied with the aim of reducing the risk of transmission of the disease.”
Gérald Feuvrier, president of the Organising Committee, said in a statement on the Department of Sarth’s web site “The safety and health of everyone is essential. Cycling is a sport that we want to share with enthusiasts and the public.”
The French Health Ministry on Thursday reported 22,848 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours and the cumulative case total is nearing 3 million.
This year’s route was to include Mamers, Le Lude, Abbey Épau, Pré-en-Pail-Saint-Samson and La Chapelle-Saint-Aubin as the main start or finish areas, which were carried over from the cancelled 2020 plan.
Last contested in April of 2019, the 67th edition was won by Alexis Gougeard of AG2R La Mondiale. Held in western France, organisers refer to this as the fifth largest stage race in the country.
A large number of events in Australia and Europe, as well as notable events such as Tour of Colombia and the Saudi Tour have been called off due to a resurgence of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
This was the second race postponement of the day, earlier the Volta ao Algarve was moved from its traditional February time slot to May 5-9.