Volta a Catalunya has been postponed

The Spanish stage race was the next big event on the calendar, with Chris Froome and Tom Dumoulin expecting to ride

Thomas De Gendt on his way to victory on stage one of the Volta a Catalunya (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Volta a Catalunya is the latest race to be postponed because of coronavirus, after the likes of Chris Froome and Tom Dumoulin had planned to ride.

Following the news that all races in Flanders, including E3 BinckBank Classic and Ghent-Wevelgem, will be cancelled, the Spanish stage race is the latest event on the cycling calendar to be called off because of the virus.

Catalunya was the next big stage race as teams who had taken a lay-off from racing because of Covid-19 were expected to make their return.

Ronde Van Drenthe, a Dutch one-day race set for Sunday (March 15), has also been called off.

The organisers were expected to cancel the race after the Spanish cycling federation postponed all races in the two weekends before the scheduled start of Catalunya on March 23, with the official announcement being made on social media on Thursday afternoon (March 12).

A statement from the organisers said: "In accordance with the authorities, the competition has been postponed until a new date.

"The Volta Ciclista a Catalunya will now request new dates to the UCI to be able to celebrate the 100th edition of this race in 2020 or, if this is impossible, to do it in 2021."

Organisers said the event would be postponed to protect the health of riders, teams and the general public.

The race has been held every year since 1939, just after the end of the Spanish Civil War.

Postponement of Catalunya came shortly after the Flemish government announced that sporting events would be cancelled until the end of March, which means E3 BinckBank Classic and Ghent-Wevelgem are not expected to go ahead.

>>> Cycling and coronavirus: Everything you need to know

Earlier today, UAE Team Emirates rider Fernando Gaviria announced that he had been diagnosed with coronavirus and was being kept in quarantine in Abu Dhabi.

Organisers of the Volta a Catalunya added: "We have tried until the end to be able to celebrate such a special edition of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya as planned, but right now the prevention and health measures of the riders, teams and the attending public are ahead of the competition.

"The Volta will return stronger to celebrate the 100th edition in the best conditions."