It’s a sad reality that it often takes misfortune for bike racing to make mainstream news. In December that it took the tangled web of course tape in the Elite Men’s race at the 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross Nationals in Lakewood to capture the attention of talking heads at ESPN.
Now, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and withdrawal of teams have brought attention to one of our, and cyclocross star Wout Van Aert’s, favorite one-day races of the year. Even the Charlotte Observer, thanks to the AP, shines the unfortunate COVID-19 light on the white gravel road classic.
This weekend’s Strade Bianche men’s and women’s races are canceled and may be rescheduled at a later date.
“RCS Sport will request the UCI, via the Italian Cycling Federation, to allocate a new date on the international cycling calendar,” RCS declared in the announcement.
RCS Sport has agreed with the appropriate authorities, after the meeting at the Prefecture of Siena, to cancel #StradeBianche and Strade Bianche Women Elite (7 March). @rcssport will request the UCI, via the Italian Cycling Federation, to allocate a new date for the two races. pic.twitter.com/2UQyc70GN4
— Strade Bianche (@StradeBianche) March 5, 2020
The decision comes after recommendations from 11 team doctors recommended canceling the Italian date due to rider and public safety. Teams including INEOS, Astana, AG2R Mondiale, Van Aert’s Jumbo-Visma and Mitchelton-Scott all pulled out of the event.
Even EF Pro pulled out. This came after director Jonathan Vaughters celebrated premature news of Strade Bianchi continuing as planned, received a reprimand from Ellen Noble, admitting to eating toe jam sandwich, and then humbly processing new information and reversing course.
The unfortunate cancellation comes after NAHBS 2020 was postponed and Sea Otter cast doubt on its April date.
Stay safe out there.