The 2020 edition of Paris-Roubaix – already rescheduled for October 25 from its original date of April 12 – has now been cancelled outright. The decision came after Lille, where the race finishes, was designated a maximum alert area for levels of Covid-19.
France is utilising a localised 'alert' system that sees strict restrictions imposed in areas with the highest density of coronavirus cases.
Thelocal.fr reports that a maximum alert means there is an infection rate above 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and a very high level of spread among the elderly (more than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants). It also means that intensive care units have filled over 30 percent of their beds with Covid-19 patients.
In areas at maximum alert, bars must close for at least two weeks and all other public spaces that do not already have strict hygiene rules in place must also close.
Speaking last week, Michel Lalande, the prefect of the Hauts-de-France et du Nord region, said: “The Tour de France took place. I imagine that health measures are also being studied for Paris-Roubaix.
“But I say it as regional prefect, I will soon meet the organisers to see, in a context of increased circulation of the virus compared to the Tour de France, what position we are taking on Paris-Roubaix."
Organisers have now said that Lalande has requested that both Paris-Roubaix and the inaugural edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes be cancelled.
“We will see you on the cobblestones on the 11th April 2021 to celebrate one of the greatest monuments in cycling,” read a statement.