Volta ao Algarve, the region’s biggest cycling competition, has been postponed from its scheduled date of February 17-21 to May 5-9 due to soaring Covid-19 cases in Portugal.
“This is a difficult decision, but it has become inevitable due to the evolution of the pandemic situation in Portugal,” the Portuguese Cycling Federation (FPC) said in a statement.
While the federation says that there were reasons to expect “an excellent sporting spectacle”, it adds that the country’s situation is too serious and that the FPC had to show its commitment to protecting the population.
“Efforts were immediately made to carry out the 47th Volta ao Algarve next spring. The new dates are from May 5 to 9, but this decision needs to be in consensus with the teams and partners involved in the event, and must also be accepted by the International Cycling Union, as it is a race of the UCI ProSeries Circuit,” the federation says.
Volta ao Algarve is one of the Algarve’s biggest sporting events and attracts many top cyclists to the region.
The event’s media impact has been highlighted in the past by Algarve tourism boss João Fernandes, who has described it as an “excellent asset for the promotion of the Algarve’s image, diversity and beautiful landscapes”.
Last year the race was aired on European sports channel Eurosport and national channel TVI24, with tourism authorities estimating that it reached over 150 million homes in 100 countries.