This year's UCI Road World Championships, due to have been held close to the governing body's headquarters in Aigle-Martigny, have been cancelled due to the impossibility of complying with the latest Swiss Federal Council measures regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
The championships had been due to be held from 20-27 September, but in a press release, the local organising committee said that the latest regulations stipulate "that major events with more than 1,000 visitors or involving more than 1,000 people are not permitted until 30 September 2020.
"Therefore, the organisation of the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Aigle and Martigny is impossible and also because since 8 August more than 45 countries are subject to quarantine when entering Switzerland, which would not give the event the necessary recognition and would not allow many of the 1,200 riders, from Juniors to Elite, from 90 countries, the opportunity of coming to defend their chances.
"!With eleven races over eight days, the specific nature of a Road circuit race in terms of social distancing and spectator crowds constitute an insurmountable obstacle with significant constraints."
We would like to sincerely thank the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the Confederation, the Cantons of Vaud and Valais, the Communes of Aigle and Martigny, Swiss Cycling, public and private sponsors, volunteers, service providers and cycling fans for their commitment, support and passion since our designation in September 2018.
In a statement, Grégory Devaud and Alexandre Debons, organising committee co-presidents, said: "We are sad and disappointed. We have worked hard for more than two years to deliver a magnificent event on an extraordinary circuit.
"In spite of the constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to work with passion to organise the UCI Road World Championships, which would have been remembered for their sporting value but also for the beauty of our cantons and the richness of our culture and region.
"We realise that the national and world health situation requires precautionary measures and our thoughts are with all those affected by this virus."
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.