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ASO’s cycling ‘Monuments’ fall victim to Covid-19

(by DIRK WAEM/AFP via Getty Images)

Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour of Flanders have become the latest of the five ‘Monuments’ of road cycling to be postponed.

The decision from the organiser of the one-day races, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) and Flanders Classics, make the French and Belgian events the latest cycling showpieces affected by Covid-19. ASO, with the agreement of the International Cycling Union (UCI), said it had decided to not organise Paris-Roubaix (April 12), the Flèche Wallonne and the Flèche Wallonne Women (April 22) and Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Liège-Bastogne-Liège Women (April 26) on their scheduled dates.

In close collaboration with the UCI and with the assistance of the other parties concerned, ASO said organisers have already begun working to try to organise new dates for the monuments. Saturday’s Milan-San Remo had already been pulled, while Flanders Classics today (Wednesday) made it a clean sweep of the iconic spring cycling events by formally confirming the postponement of the Tour of Flanders, which had been scheduled for April 5.

The latest cancellations come amid intensifying questions over the status of the 2020 Tour de France. The Tour is also organised by ASO, which last week pressed forward with the staging of Paris-Nice despite France’s severe restrictions on sporting events and public gatherings, albeit with the event ending one day early on Saturday.

The Tour’s fellow ‘Grand Tour’ event, the Giro d’Italia, was last week delayed by its organiser, RCS Sport, in response to the Hungarian government declaring a state of emergency in the country.

The 2020 Tour de France is scheduled for June 27 to July 19, with general director Christian Prudhomme suggesting earlier this week that he hoped the event will continue as planned. “We hope that this situation, for the good of the country above all, will be resolved before then,” Prudhomme told the AFP news agency.

“It’s still more than a hundred days until the start of the Tour de France. The hunger for the race will be immense once activities are resumed.”