Boels Ladies Tour cancels due to uncertainties around coronavirus

Coronavirus flareups add uncertainty to leading Women's WorldTour stage race.

The Boels Ladies Tour, the only Women’s WorldTour stage race in the Benelux, has been canceled for 2020.

Race organizers have confirmed that there were too many complications related to the coronavirus crisis to ensure a safe and successful event, which was originally scheduled September 1 – 6.

“The recent flareup of the virus in various places in Europe plays a role in the decision, and the figures in the Netherlands also have a negative line,” race organizer Thujs Rondhuis said. “This will increase the uncertainty in the next four weeks and the financial risks will increase significantly. After all, the measures to be taken would have weighed heavily on the profile of our competition.”

Organizers added that the crowd restrictions and the cancelation of many side events would not only kill the popular spirit of the event but also make if financially vulnerable.

According to Rondhuis, the possibility of a slimmed-down event had been discussed with teams, sponsors, riders and unions. But even a light version of the race proved unfeasible.

News that such a respected women’s event was suddenly canceled shows that while the UCI worked diligently to reconstruct a late-season calendar, no race is guaranteed to actually take place. Just last week two historic French races—Grand Prix de Fourmies and Paris-Bourges—were canceled as well as the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec and Montreal, two major World Tour events.

And while men’s racing resumes Tuesday with the Tour of Burgos, the return to racing remains tentative.

And as we have seen with the return to Major League Baseball, if a member on any team tests positive during an event, the event itself could suddenly be called into question. Only four days into the long-delayed start of the baseball season, a coronavirus outbreak on the Miami Marlins team casts the league’s plans to return into serious doubt.