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Report says worlds will stay in Switzerland

Sources tell L'Equipe that Swiss officials are working to prevent the worlds from being shuttled off to the Middle East.

The 2020 road cycling world championships will stay in Switzerland.

That’s according to a report in L’Équipe, with sources telling the French sports daily that local officials are expected to announce that the worlds will run as scheduled September 20-27, and not be shuttled off to the Middle East.

Alarm bells have been ringing about the world championships since the coronavirus outbreak, when Swiss government officials prohibited the gathering of large groups of more than 1,000 people. The loss of local sponsors has also created uncertainty for Swiss organizers.

Officials are expected to see the lifting of the large-crowd ban by the time the worlds are scheduled to start, and organizers are finding ways to fill any financial shortfall in order to run the races.

Qatar and Abu Dhabi were offered up as alternatives for the worlds, but L’Equipe reported that riders and federations were not excited about the prospect of traveling to the Middle East, and feared a possible repeat of what happened in February when teams and officials were quarantined, sometimes for weeks.