Alpes Vélo, the organisation that runs the Tour de l'Avenir, regrets that it has had to cancel the 57th edition of the the race, which had been rescheduled to a reduced format of six days and was due to take place from 14 to 19 August.
The event is typically an opportunity for the best young climbers from around the world to showcase their talents, and past winners have included Egan Bernal, Tadej Pogacar, Nairo Quintana and Esteban Chaves.
It's been a good hunting ground for young Australian talents, with Jack Haig, Lucas Hamilton, Rob Power and Nick Schultz (pictured above), just a few of the names to graduate to the WorldTour after impressing in the race in the French Alps. There wasn't an Australian team on the startlist for this year's edition, even prior to the decision to call the race off.
Apres Velo issued a statement confirming the cancellation of the 2020 race, emphasising the need for the health of athletes to be paramount in the midst of the current coronavirus pandemic. The organisation seemed to also take a swipe at other organisations stating they were being scrupulous in ensuring health precautions were respected.
"This decision was taken on the basis of responsibility when, unlike the main players in professional cycling, and in particular the World Tour and the Tour de France (scheduled from 29 August to 20 September), it seems complex to scrupulously ensure that all health precautions are respected in the context of an event that was due to welcome 23 teams, most of them national selections from the European, African, Asian and American continents.
The disparity in the health guarantees taken prior to the event, and the need for a “hermetic bubble” within these formations from regions of the world with different levels of awareness, risked affecting the absolute priority that must be given to health conditions."
The Tour de l'Avenir was set to be the opening event of the Nations Cup series for the men's Under 23 peloton and the cancellation has left the calendar looking rather bare, with two men's juniors races, one women's juniors race and two men's Under-23 races all that is left of a reduced season.