Paris-Roubaix postponed to October
Strict national lockdown imposed, as French COVID19 infections cases increase to nearly 50,000 per day
The race, known as the 'Hell of the North' and contested over old cobbled mining roads, has been rescheduled for October 3.
First staged in 1896, the Paris-Roubaix was cancelled last year for the first time since 1942 during World War II.
The postponement comes a day after French President Emmanuel Macron announced new coronavirus restrictions would be tightened and put into place across the country.
There will be a month-long domestic travel ban, and a nationwide 7pm-6am curfew will remain in place.
President Emmanuel Macron's announcement comes after doctors warned that hospitals are on the brink of being overwhelmed by the number of sick people needing treatment.
Schools will also be closed, following a sharp rise in infections in France which have been running at more than 50,000 a day.
Like the Tour de France, the Paris-Roubaix usually attracts large crowds of spectators and draws in high television figures in France.
Until last year, the only cancellations of the race were between 1915-1918 and 1940-1942.
The UCI said the new dates were approved by the stakeholders of men’s and women’s road cycling after a consultation process involving the organisers.
“This decision follows the decision of the competent French authorities to prohibit the holding of the 2021 edition … on the dates scheduled in the UCI International road calendar in the context of the current health situation,” the UCI said in a statement here.
The 2020 edition of the ‘Queen of the Classics’ race was postponed before being cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The 2021 men’s race will be held on Oct. 3 with the inaugural women’s edition taking place a day earlier.
“For the UCI and the cycling community, it was important that both races could take place in 2021, and I’m delighted that new dates suitable for all parties have been found,” UCI President David Lappartient said.
Paris-Roubaix is the third ‘Monument’ classic of the season after Milano-Sanremo, which took place last month, this Sunday’s Tour of Flanders and before Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Giro di Lombardia.