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by Dane Cash
March 18, 2020
Photography by Gruber Images
The ASO announced on Tuesday that Paris-Roubaix, La Flèche Wallonne, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège will all be postponed “as part of the fight against the spread of coronavirus,” and Flanders Classics followed a few hours later with the postponement of the Tour of Flanders.
The one-day races join the now lengthy list of events that will not take place as initially planned due to the pandemic. Most of this year’s Spring Classics have now been called off, with the RCS postponing Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo and Flanders Classics already doing the same with events like the E3 BinckBank Classic and Gent-Wevelgem in the wake of government decrees limiting large public gatherings.
Authorities in Belgium have extended the time period of those limits, which organizers say led to the postponement of the Tour of Flanders.
“Indeed, the new measures imposed by the federal government prevent us from organising the Tour of Flanders on April 5,” said Flanders Classics CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel in a statement. “There are, of course, more important issues than bike racing right now. We hope that we will all succeed in creating a climate in which we can, in the short term, resume our normal daily lives.”
For ASO, the proactive move to call off its upcoming Classics stands out in contrast to the decision last week to continue running Paris-Nice up until the penultimate day of racing.
With Tuesday’s postponements, Il Lombardia is the only Monument on the 2020 calendar with a definitive date at the moment.
For now, both the ASO and Flanders Classics say they are looking into the possibility of rescheduling their races, although the specifics of new dates and the feasibility of finding room in the calendar remain unknown for now.
“In close collaboration with the UCI and with the assistance of the other parties concerned, the organizers have already begun working to try to organize new dates for these monuments, races to which teams, riders and spectators are deeply attached,” said the ASO in a statement.
The Paris-Roubaix Challenge and Liège-Bastogne-Liège Challenge sportif events have also been postponed in conjunction with the pro races.