Paris-Roubaix is unlikely to go ahead next month due to the coronavirus situation in the region, the prefect of the Hauts-de-France region has said.
Sixteen departments in France went back into lockdown at the weekend for at least a month as cases rise once more, jeopardising the chances of the one-day race taking place on April 11. Lockdown restrictions will include non-essential shops being closed as well as residents having to stay within 10 kilometres of their homes.
"I'll give you an answer when the time is right, but right now you can guess," Michel Lalande told France Bleu Nord (opens in new tab) radio station. "The sky now looks less blue," he added of his optimism over whether the race will go ahead, saying he doesn't understand why races just over the border in Belgium are still taking place during the public health crisis.
Hospitals are currently overwhelmed in the Hauts-de-France department, ICU beds having an occupancy rate of nearly 120 per cent.
This will likely be the second year Paris-Roubaix doesn't take place in its usual spring slot after the 2020 edition was postponed at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, pushed back to October, while a subsequent wave of cases in the winter saw the race scrapped entirely for the year.
With vaccination programmes now underway, another postponement until October would likely see the cobbled Classic take place this year.
Another ASO race, Paris-Nice, was able to take place recently despite the difficult coronavirus situation in France. This was, however, due to the fact the eight-day event was able to re-jig its route and avoid the coronavirus red zone of Nice on the final two days, whereas Paris-Roubaix would take place entirely within one of the 16 departments under lockdown.
When approached, ASO said they would not be making a comment at this time.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
Bike advocates sue City of Portland for failing ‘to meet its most basic legal obligations to provide safe streets’
Bike Advocates sue City of Portland for failing to uphold a 1971 state law requiring pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in street construction projects
By Anne-Marije Rook • Published
Gravel’s most successful event creators collaborate on a new adventure: The Great Plains Gravel Route
3800 miles, six states and 2-3 weeks to complete: Here’s what we know so far
By Charles Miller • Published
'I just come out at every race swinging': Simon Clarke achieves childhood dream with Tour de France stage win after winter of contract fears
Australian was without a team coming into the season
By Tom Thewlis • Published
‘Those climber guys can ride over the cobbles these days’ - Fabian Cancellara predicts a fast paced opening week at the Tour de France
Cancellara has won the opening stage of the Tour de France five times and knows the importance of a strong opening week
By Tom Thewlis • Published