The 2021 edition of Paris-Roubaix has been postponed, the organiser has officially announced.
Amid persisting rumours that this year’s ‘Hell of the North’ would need to be rescheduled because of the coronavirus lockdown in France, race organiser ASO confirmed on Thursday (April 1) that both the men’s and women’s editions will not go ahead next weekend.
Initially scheduled for Sunday, April 11, The historic cobbled Monument will now take place in October, ASO said.
Paris-Roubaix and Paris-Roubaix Femmes, the first ever women’s edition of the race, will now be held on Saturday, October 2 for the women and Sunday, October 3 for the men.
UCI president David Lappartient said: “For the UCI and the cycling community, it was very important that both races could take place in 2021, and I am delighted that new dates suitable for all parties have been found.
“It was therefore essential to find, together with all parties concerned, an appropriate postponement date, in keeping with the status of this mythical event so much appreciated by riders and fans, and whose female riders are looking forward to competing in the inaugural women’s edition.”
Earlier this week, French president Emmanuel Macron announced a new nation-wide lockdown in France as the country deals with a third wave of coronavirus.
The new restrictions mean all non-essential shops must close and residents must not travel more than 10km from home without good reason.
A new lockdown cast more doubt about the fate of Paris-Roubaix, with the organisers already rumoured to be considering postponing the event because of the pandemic.
Cycling director at race organiser ASO, Christian Prudhomme, said: “An eminently popular classic, coveted by many great champions, followed by millions of fans and televised in 190 countries, Paris-Roubaix is also a source of pride for the whole of the Hauts de France region, which comes together every year with great enthusiasm.
“It is anchored in the region. It is part of its history. This is why we are pleased to announce that the Queen of the Classics will return in 2021 and that the competitors of the first ever women’s edition will also discover its legendary route.”
After initially being postponed from its traditional April slot last season, the 2020 Paris-Roubaix was rescheduled for October before it was cancelled entirely.
The cancellation also delayed the first ever women’s edition of Paris-Roubaix – a highly anticipated addition to the Women’s WorldTour calendar.