Organisers abandon opening day of first post-lockdown stage race after motorbike crash

An unfortunate start as stage racing returns

The organisers of the first UCI stage race after coronavirus lockdown were forced to abandon the opening stage, due to a motorbike crash on the course.

Dookoła Mazowsza is 2.2-ranked event held in Poland, taking place over four stages around the capital Warsaw.

The race is normally attended by lower-tier teams and overlooked by the wider cycling world, but this year it has received a surge in attention due to its position in the calendar.

Dookoła Mazowsza is the first UCI stage race to take place after all events were suspended by the governing body due to coronavirus in March.

Teams racing including Israel Cycling Academy, the development squad for Israel Start-Up Nation, CCC Development Team and the German national team.

But racing did not get off to a smooth start on Wednesday (July 15), as the opening stage of the event was abandoned after a civilian motorbike crash on the course.

Israel Cycling Academy said on Twitter: “Dookoła Mazowsza has been neutralised after an accident.

“The race seems to be over. A civilian motorbike was on the circuit and crashed. No riders were involved, but the race has been cancelled.

“Race over. The accident happened on an intersection with the circuit and due to police investigations we won’t be able to continue.”

The race is set to continue on stage two with a 2.2km time trial.

July marks the return of bike racing as coronavirus restrictions are eased across Europe.

But doubts remain about the status of some events on the calendar, including the Sibiu Cycling Tour in Romania, scheduled to start on July 23.

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) are among the riders down to ride the three-stage event, but with coronavirus cases in Romania spiking its still uncertain whether the race will go ahead.

>>> Geraint Thomas confirms his schedule for racing return 

Then later in July the Vuelta a Burgos will be the first big race as the season restarts.

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