Vuelta cancels stages in Portugal amid crisis COVID-19

PARIS: This year's Tour de España will not pass through Portugal as planned due to the COVID-19 crisis, organizers said on Saturday.

Due to the exceptional situation caused by the COVID-19 crisis and given the impossibility of guaranteeing optimal conditions for the smooth passage of the race in the country, the municipalities of Porto, Matosinhos and Viseu, in agreement with Unipublic, organizers of La Return , have decided to cancel the passage of La Return 20 in Portugal, Unipublic said in a statement.

The start of the race was postponed from Aug. 14 to Oct. 20 with the opening three stages in the Netherlands canceled because of the COVID-19 situation.

Stages 15 and 16 had to go through Portugal.

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Organizers said they were working on an alternative route in Spain, adding that the schedule would not change again.

As a result, the Return will have only one section outside the borders of Spain when the ninth stage ends up at the top of the iconic Col du Tourmalet in France.