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March 13, 2020
The 2020 edition of the Giro d’Italia, initially set to start on May 9, has been postponed.
Organizers RCS Sport made the announcement following news that the opening stages, set to visit Hungary for the first time, would be cancelled after the Hungarian government declared a national emergency, making major sporting events impossible.
“RCS Sport, having taken note of the international and national situation, announces that the date of the 2020 Giro d’Italia is thereby postponed,” read a statement from organizers.
While the coronavirus outbreak’s presence in Hungary is still relatively new, with the first cases only announced in the first few days of March, the count of cases in Italy now numbers over 10,000. The coronavirus situation there has led to a nationwide lockdown that will extend until at least April 3. In light of that, the RCS said that no decision on the exact details of rescheduling the Giro will come for at least some time.
“The new date will be announced no earlier than 3 April when the provisions of the D.P.C.M. (Decreto del Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri della Repubblica Italiana – Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic) of 4 March 2020 will end, and only after having consulted with the appropriate representatives of the Italian Government, local and territorial authorities and Italian and international sports institutions,” said the RCS via the statement.
Several races, including Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo, had already been called off as Italy deals with rapidly escalating numbers of infections and deaths, while Thursday and Friday have seen a string of races called off all over Europe.
The Volta a Catalunya and a number of Flemish one-day races, including the E3 BinckBank Classic and Gent-Wevelgem, were postponed on Thursday, while the Ronde van Drenthe was cancelled along with other events in the Netherlands. In France, Paris-Nice forged ahead with its sixth stage on Friday, but organizers have announced that the race will end after Saturday’s seventh stage, one day early.
The Giro is the largest race whose original plans have now been called off in the face of the coronavirus crisis. Earlier this week, as concerns over the possible status of cycling’s Grand Tours began to mount, UCI President David Lappartient said that it “would be a disaster for our sport of course if we can’t have the Giro d’Italia or the Tour de France.”