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February 25, 2020
Photography by Kristof Ramon
Milano-Sanremo is among a growing list of sporting events at risk of cancellation following recent reports of over two hundred cases of coronavirus in Italy.
“The situation in Italy is really difficult. Our first concerns are the Tirreno-Adriatico and above all the Milano-Sanremo scheduled in less than a month,” Mauro Vegni, director of cycling at race organizer RCS Sport, told Corriere della Serra. “There is no plan B.”
In the wake of multiple deaths from the virus, authorities have shut down schools and sporting events in northern Italy, with the Lombardy region, whose capital is Milan, heavily affected. Vegni said the RCS will follow the government’s lead in determining how to proceed.
“If the government stops sporting events in Milan and Lombardy, we will have to cancel [Milano-Sanremo],” Vegni said. “It makes no sense to move the start 20 or 50 kilometers. The course has been the way it is for 110 years.”
Milano-Sanremo’s location puts it at particular risk to be affected by the growing concern of the virus, with Strade Bianche, which takes place in Tuscany, less likely to be impacted. It remains uncertain how the situation will affect the Giro d’Italia, which starts in May.
“It is not possible to say anything about the Giro at the moment, but it is clear that if the spread does not slow, there is a risk that it cannot take place,” Vegni said.