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Challenge Mallorca postpones due to COVID

Series of one-day races postponed to May due to banning of large public gatherings on Balearic island.

The Challenge Mallorca has become the latest race to shut down due to coronavirus.

The block of one-day races that make up the event has been forced to shutter due to strict COVID protocol that are set to be enforced on the Balearic island.

The prohibition of events of over 50 attendees in a bid to stem a surge of coronavirus cases has forced the organizers to postpone the races, which were scheduled for January 28-31. They are now eyeballing mid-May for the event.

“We deeply regret having had to make this decision, but the current situation forces us to carry out this exercise of responsibility that prioritizes the health of all the components of the race,” race director Manuel Hernández said Saturday. “From today we will do everything to able to carry out the race between May 13 and 16, and thus be able to celebrate the 30 years of the race as it deserves.”

The Challenge Mallorca is commonly used by WorldTour teams as an early-season form-finder, and this year was scheduled to host a handful of top-tier outfits including Bora-Hansgrohe, Israel Start-Up Nation, UAE-Team Emirates, Movistar and Ineos Grenadiers. Last year, Marc Soler (Movistar) took victory at the Pollença-Andratx.

The Challenge Mallorca had marked the first major event on the international pro racing calendar after the shutdown of the Australian block of racing and the Tour Colombia, and recent reports that Vuelta a San Juan may host only local teams.

The first major European stage races are now the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and Etoile de Bessèges, which both run February 3-7.