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International teams might not be able to compete in the Vuelta a San Juan next month as planned, according to media reports.
First reported in Ciclismo Internacional, sources confirmed to VeloNews that worsening health conditions in Argentina could derail plans for four WorldTour teams to participate in the race, slated for January 24-31.
- Early season races draw big interest
- Tour Colombia 2.1 canceled for 2021
- Chris Froome to debut in Argentina
There was no official word Tuesday from race officials, who earlier this month confirmed that four WorldTour teams — Bora-Hansgrohe, Israel Start-Up Nation, Cofidis, and Deceuninck-Quick-Step — were committed to racing. Among the names were Peter Sagan and Chris Froome, who was expecting to make his season debut in his new jersey at the South American race.
Worsening health conditions in Argentina, however, appear to be forcing organizers’ hands less than two weeks later. Ciclismo Internacional reported that organizers will likely hold the event with only local and regional teams that do not require international travel.
Sources told VeloNews that teams are already making alternative plans after receiving word that international travel will be unlikely next month.
The reduced peloton would see the San Juan race, which has emerged as a popular early season race for top pro teams, follow the example of the Santos Tour Down Under. The Australian race, which typically opens the WorldTour calendar, will continue in 2021, but with only local and composite teams.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is already reaching into 2021 in other ways.
Last week, Tour Colombia 2.1 officials confirmed the 2021 edition is canceled.
Early season races in Spain, France, and Portugal, however, say they still hope to hold their events as scheduled in February and say they are seeing record interest. Officials from the Volta ao Algarve, for example, said 30 top pro teams have requested a start spot in the five-day race along the southern coast of Portugal.