Paris-Roubaix 2021 has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to French media.
A report in newspaper Le Parisien says that the cobbled Monument, scheduled to take place on April 11, will be delayed because of the worsening health situation in the north of France.
The report says that the French Ministry of Sports and Ministry of Health have been holding talks to discuss the race, which was not held last year because of the pandemic.
Le Parisen says the race could be rescheduled at the end of the 2021 season, potentially on Sunday, October 24 or Sunday, October 31.
But race organiser ASO has since told French newspaper L’Equipe that it is not expecting an official decision until next week, and that the current expectation is that the race will go ahead in April.
The organiser said it is also looking for ways to drastically reduce the number of spectators at the side of the road.
The 2021 Paris-Roubaix is also scheduled to include a women’s edition of the prestigious cobbled race for the first time in history.
While the inaugural women’s edition was initially scheduled to take place last season, the pandemic means we may have to wait a little longer to see the likes of Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo), Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) and Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx) in the ‘Hell of the North.’
Le Parisien says that an official announcement about the 2021 Roubaix is expected on Wednesday (March 24).
Earlier this week, Paris-Roubaix organiser ASO, which also organises the Tour de France, said “the idea is that Paris-Roubaix takes place whatever happens this year,” but regional cycling figures suggested the organisers were heading towards postponement due to lockdown restrictions.
In early March, the French authorities put northern France back into coronavirus lockdown to slow the spread of the virus and ease the pressure on health services.
The restrictions include a curfew and the closure of non-essential shops.
Last week, the French government then put a month-long lockdown in place in Paris and parts of northern France.
Earlier this month another ASO event, Paris-Nice, was able to go ahead as the organisers re-designed the route to avoid coronavirus hotspots.
But Paris-Roubaix, which runs from Compiègne just north of Paris to Roubaix on the Belgian border, would take place entirely in locked down parts of the country.