Colombia is experiencing all-time highs in coronavirus cases, with 13,990 cases recorded on December 19. The early season stage race was due to begin on February 14 but will now join the list of races already cancelled or altered in the new year.
The Colombian Cycling Federation said in a press release that the high number of cases in the country at the moment makes it too difficult to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
“Due to the high number of active cases, the outbreaks in the world and the difficulty of providing all the guarantees related to the biosecurity protocols for the caravan and the fans in general, the executive committee of the Colombian Cycling Federation in full, has taken the decision to cancel the realization of Tour Colombia 2.1 for 2021, an event that will be resumed in the 2022 season,” the Colombian Cycling Federation said in a statement.
“The situation of the pandemic has forced cycling and major sporting events to rethink the staging of its main protagonists, seeking prevention and reducing the risk of the spread of Covid-19 in demonstrations of huge call and public appeal such as the Tour Colombia A race that in its three previous editions has produced a high impact on the fans of the country and the world.”
The Cadel Evans Road Race and Herald Sun Tour have been called off in Australia due to coronavirus complications, with the Tour Down Under rebranded to a multi-discipline national level event the Santos Festival of Cycling.
Along with the Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia being cancelled at the start of February, the first couple of months of racing are looking sparse in terms of high profile events.
The New Zealand-based races, the New Zealand Cycling Classic and the Gravel and Tar Classic, scheduled for January will be run, but with a two-week quarantine needing to be observed by entrants to the country, it isn't likely to attract a large international field.
The men’s WorldTour should now get going with the UAE Tour - the first race in 2019 to be significantly affected by coronavirus - at the end of February before Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, while the women’s WorldTour will get underway with Strade Bianche on March 6.