The legendary Paris-Roubaix cycling race is canceled in 2020 because of the Covid

The “Queen of classics” cyclists is again a victim of the coronavirus. The 2020 edition of Paris-Roubaix, which was to take place on October 25, was canceled by its organizers (ASO), this Friday, October 9, due to the health situation. A first since 1942.

Cycling pushes itself off the pass

The great cobblestone race has borne the brunt of the new restrictions taken to curb the worsening of the Covid-19 epidemic in northern France. The announcement indeed comes the day after the Lille ranking, from Saturday 10 October, in the maximum alert zone by the Minister of Health Olivier Véran.

“The priority goes to people’s health”

The decision has been made “At the request of the prefect of the North and the Hauts-de-France region”, ASO explained, following “The announcement of Olivier Véran, Minister of Solidarity and Health, placing the European metropolis of Lille in the maximum alert zone”.

“We are disappointed and sad to have to give up the queen of classics, told AFP the director of the Tour de France Christian Prudhomme, organizer of Paris-Roubaix. “But we obviously understand and accept the prefect’s decision. The priority goes to people’s health. “

Famous for its cobbled sectors, the best known of which is the Arenberg gap, Paris-Roubaix, which was established in 1896, is one of the five “Monuments”, the biggest one-day races outside the world championship, of the cycling season.

The 2021 edition scheduled for April 11

Last spring, the 118e edition of the classic had been postponed from April 12 to October 25, according to the calendar developed by the International Cycling Union (UCI) to take into account the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first female edition of Paris-Roubaix is ​​also canceled, said the organizers who have given an appointment for April 11, 2021, the date on the calendar for next year. Cyclist Audrey Cordon-Ragot expressed her disappointment at the news: “I was happy to compete in the first women’s Paris-Roubaix in history with my tricolor jersey on October 25. Part postponed on April 11, 2021 ”, she tweeted.

Most of the events of the season have been maintained

Of the five monuments, three have already taken place (Milan-Sanremo, Tour de Lombardie, Liège-Bastogne-Liège). The Tour of Flanders, the Flemish counterpart of Paris-Roubaix which also uses cobbled sections, is scheduled for October 18 with, as head of the list, the reigning world champion, the French Julian Alaphilippe, who will discover the Belgian race.

While the biggest events of the season, namely the “Monuments”, the world championship, the Giro and, above all, the Tour de France, have been able to take place so far despite the pandemic, many races have had to be canceled this year. To date, Paris-Roubaix is ​​the most prestigious of the striped events of the 2020 program.

“Cycling is an intensely religious phenomenon”

On October 25, the great classic was scheduled at the same time as the last stage of the Giro in Milan and the 6e stage of the Vuelta ending on the Pyrenean pass of Tourmalet.

The French authorities have underlined in recent days the deterioration of the health situation. For Lille and several other large cities (Lyon, Grenoble, Saint-Etienne), “A passage in the zone of maximum alert was decided by the president” Emmanuel Macron, according to the announcement made Thursday, October 8 by Olivier Véran.

This classification, already valid for Aix-Marseille and Paris, implies reinforced health measures, such as the closure of events and establishments open to the public.

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