The organisation of the Clásica de Almería has announced that the one-day race is set to go ahead as planned on February 14 after a receiving the go ahead from local government.
The Clásica de Almería is now the only Spanish event left on the UCI calendar in February after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation or postponement of the remainder of the early-season events in the country.
“It will be a very special edition in which we are going to take extreme precautions and in which we ask all the fans to follow the race from their homes and not come near to the race bubble, the exit and arrival areas or the roads,” said race organisation head José Manuel Muñoz in a statement.
“The important thing this year, in addition to being able to promote, through our race, the image of the Costa de Almería, is to do it safely for everyone. This includes all the members of the caravan, but also the fans.”
The statement followed a meeting with the government delegate of the Junta de Andalucía in Almería, Isabel Sánchez Torregrosa, after which the Clásica de Almería organisation said it had “finally received the green light” to hold the event as planned.
Eleven WorldTour teams and eleven ProTeams are set to take part in the race, whose recent winners include Pascal Ackermann (2019 and 2020), Caleb Ewan (2018) and Sam Bennett (2014).
2015 winner Mark Cavendish is due to ride the Clásica de Almería in what will be the first race of his second stint at Deceuninck-QuickStep. Ackermann, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka-Assos) are also on the provisional start list.
The announcement from the Clásica de Almería organisation comes after a spate of postponements and cancellations in Spain. The Challenge Mallorca, Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and Vuelta a Andalucía have been postponed, while the Vuelta a Murcia, Vuelta CV Feminas and Setmana Ciclista Valenciana have been cancelled.
Elsewhere on the Iberian peninsula, the Volta ao Algarve has been postponed until May, while further afield, the Tour Down Under, Vuelta a San Juan and Tour Colombia are among the UCI races that have been cancelled so far in 2021.
One UCI event has thus far taken place in Europe in 2021, the one-day Clàssica Comunitat Valenciana 1969, which was won by Lorrenzo Manzin last weekend. The Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise opens the French season on Sunday, with the Etoile de Bessèges set to take place from February 3-7, followed by the Tour de la Provence from February 11-14.