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Chris Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation) and a few other big names had hoped to get their 2021 seasons underway at the Vuelta a San Juan later this month, but it turns out that that won’t be happening. Organizers announced on Monday that this season’s Vuelta a San Juan has been cancelled.
This year’s race had originally been set to run from January 24 to 31 as part of the UCI ProSeries, the second highest division of races. Won last year by Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), the 2021 edition of the event had until recently been expected to see notables like Froome and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) in their first racing action of this season. For Froome in particular, the race would have been his first as a member of the ISN team after he transferred from the Ineos Grenadiers this past offseason.
Over the past few weeks, however, reports began to emerge suggesting that WorldTour teams might not be able to attend due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
On Monday, organizers announced that the race has been called off altogether. As CiclismoInternacional reports, San Juan governor Sergio Uñac said in a press conference that the organization had mulled an event for teams from South America only before deciding to cancel the race, a decision that was then announced in a press release.
“The decision is the consequence of the global health situation with the Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic and following the recommendations of national and international organizations,” read a statement.
“San Juan will continue working with the same passion to make the sport grow and with this race, that has become a ‘classic’ in the world calendar of cycling, to maintain its international carácter, where the best riders of the world will continue to shine, when this pandemic will be defeated.”
The news comes only a few days after the postponement of another early-season event, the Challenge Mallorca, also due to the coronavirus pandemic, and follows news from late last year that the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will not go ahead in 2021 either.