Volta ao Algarve 2021 postponed due to coronavirus 

The 2021 edition was expected to attract some big names, but has now been pushed back

Remco Evenepoel (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 2021 Volta ao Algarve has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Portugal’s biggest stage race is a popular starting point in the season for many big-name riders, but the 2021 edition has been pushed back. 

The decision to postpone the race, officially announced on Thursday (January 21), will upset the plans of plenty of WorldTour teams, as 14 top-tier squads had planned to start on February 17. 

A statement from the organisers said: “The Portuguese Cycling Federation, organiser of Volta ao Algarve, today informed all partners and teams that the race will not be able to take place on the scheduled date, February 17-21. Postponement is a difficult decision, but it has become inevitable, given the evolution of the pandemic situation in Portugal.

“The organisation of Volta ao Algarve is aware that legitimate expectations were created for an excellent sports event, however the general context of the country imposes a postponement that signals the commitment of the Portuguese Cycling Federation to the defence of public health and motivation to offer fans a high quality race at another time of the year.”

The race has now been provisionally postponed until May 5, which means it will overlap with the Giro d’Italia

Portugal has been experiencing a rapid increase in coronavirus cases since January 1, with 5,400 people hospitalised in one day earlier this week, along with 219 deaths  and 14,000 new cases.

The pandemic had already impacted the 2021 season, as the first WorldTour event of the year the Tour Down Under was cancelled, while there are still serious doubts about the fate of the Tokyo Olympics later this year. 

Many riders are expected to start their seasons next month either in the UAE Tour or in the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. 

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Last year’s Volta ao Algarve was dominated by Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck - Quick-Step), who won two stages and added the overall victory to his 100 per cent success rate in all four stage races he entered last year. 

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.