The 2020 UCI road world championships, set to take place from September 10-17 in Aigle and Martigny, Switzerland, has been called off due to COVID-19 precautions.
Organizers announced the news Wednesday morning after Swiss federal authorities banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people across the country through September 30.
The ban extends Switzerland’s current rules for COVID-19 precautions. Switzerland’s Federal Council, a seven-member board made of representatives from each of the country’s executive departments, made the decision.
“Given this decision, the organizing committee of the Aigle-Martigny 2020 UCI Road World Championships and the political authorities of the cantons concerned have sadly estimated that the conditions could no longer be met to host the event scheduled to take place in Aigle (Vaud) and Martigny (Valais),” the UCI said in a release.
The UCI confirmed the cancelation on its Twitter account, saying it would seek a different host region in Europe for its marquee event.
“The UCI will now work towards finding an alternative project, in Europe, during the same period and with the same profile of course,” the UCI said.
In a release, the UCI said a replacement event could include all or some of the originally planned races. The UCI has set a deadline of September 1 to find a new host site for the event.
The news marks a major upheaval in the redesigned 2020 pro calendar, which was released in the Spring after the coronavirus pandemic led to the cancelation and postponement of most pro events. The UCI slotted its road worlds into a gap in the calendar just after the Tour de France and before the Giro d’Italia.
In recent months the UCI road worlds have gained extra importance for elite women, junior, and Under-23 riders, who have seen their respective competition calendars dramatically sink due to the pandemic. American riders were looking to the UCI road worlds as perhaps the only major test of the season, with the 2020 USA Cycling national championships called off, and most of the spring and summer UCI Nation’s Cup events canceled or rescheduled.