World Championships 2020 organiser: ‘We want to celebrate cycling, but not at any price’

There is some doubt over the fate of the Worlds, due to be held in Switzerland

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Questions still hang over many of the most iconic bike races on the calendar, and the 2020 World Championships are no different.

While the Worlds are still scheduled for the regular slot in late September, the race organiser said the on-going coronavirus continues to cause doubt around the fate of the prestigious week-long event.

The World Championships are due to be held in Aigle and Martigny, Switzerland from September 20-27, overlapping with the final day of the postponed Tour de France.

Co-president of the Worlds organising committee, Gregory Devaud, told French broadcaster RTS (opens in new tab): “We want to celebrate cycling, but not at any price.

“We will make a decision before the summer, by the end of June.”

The UCI has published a revised version of its 2020 calendar on Tuesday (May 5), featuring the Tour de France running through September, the Worlds in late September, and the Vuelta a España and the Giro d’Italia also slotted in late in the season, alongside the Monument Classics.

Devaud said that the Switzerland Worlds would need to be held in the autumn, or would have to be delayed by up to six or seven years.

Locations for the World Championships are firmed up years in advance, with Flanders, Australia, Glasgow and Zurich all scheduled to host the racing in the coming years, with 2026 the next available year.

Devaud has also confirmed that the racing schedule for the Worlds would be slightly adjusted, because the men’s individual time trial was scheduled to run on the final Paris stage of the Tour de France on September 20.

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Instead the relay team time trial will be held on the opening Sunday of the Worlds, while the men’s TT will now take place on the following Wednesday, giving Tour riders time to travel and recover.

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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.