The UCI has announced the cancellation of one of China’s leading men’s bike races, the Tour of Hainan, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus that has so far claimed more than 80 lives.
The category 2.HC race, founded in 2006, was due to form part of the new second-tier competition, the UCI ProSeries this year.
World cycling’s governing body hopes that the race, which had been due to take place from 23 February – 1 March, can be rescheduled for later in the year, subject to a suitable space on the calendar.
In a statement, the UCI said that it “is in regular contact with the Chinese authorities, which are keeping it informed of the evolution of the health situation and its impact on the organisation of cycling events in the country.
“It will take decisions necessary to ensure the safety of all stakeholders,” the UCI added.
The race joins a number of other international sporting events that have been either cancelled or relocated as a result of the virus.
Today, the venue of an Olympic women's basketball qualifying tournament due to take place next month in Guangdong province was changed to the Serbian capital, Belgrade.
The same province had been due to host an Asian group tournament next week for the Fed Cup women’s tennis tournament, but the venue was moved yesterday to Kazakhstan.
A qualifying tournament for women’s football at the Tokyo Olympics was also moved from China yesterday and will now take place in Sydney, Australia.
Previously, that event had been switched from Wuhan, where the outbreak is centred, to Nanjing.
Meanwhile, the Asian indoor athletics championships, also due to take place in February, have been cancelled outright.
The next major cycling event due to take place in China is the Women’s WorldTour race, the Tour of Chongming Island, which takes place from 7-9 May.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.