Rwanda: Major Blow for Rwanda as World Champs is Cancelled

The 2020 UCI Road World Championships will not take place in Aigle-Martigny, Switzerland, the world cycling governing body (UCI) announced on Wednesday.

The development comes following Swiss Federal Council's decision, linked to the current Covid-19 pandemic, to maintain, until 30 September 2020, the ban on events convening more than 1000 people.

The 2020 edition of the annual event was scheduled for September 20-27.

"The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) takes note of the given decision, the organising committee of the Aigle-Martigny 2020 UCI Road World Championships and the political authorities of the concerned cantons have sadly estimated that the conditions could no longer be met to host the event scheduled to take place in Aigle (Vaud) and Martigny (Valais)," reads part of the statement from UCI.

"Our federation, which was greatly looking forward to welcoming the world's best riders to its home, close to its headquarters and its training centre in Aigle, shares the disappointment of the athletes, national teams, organisers and everyone implicated in this exceptional project."

However, given the sporting importance of the cycling competition, UCI has promised to find an alternative project in Europe that suits the same profile of course as the one of Aigle-Martigny around the same time.

The final decision about the new project, according to UCI, will be announced by September 1.

Blow for Team Rwanda

Emmanuel Murenzi, the Permanent Secretary of Rwanda Cycling Federation (Ferwacy), told Times Sport that the cancellation is a huge blow to the national team, which was looking to win its very first medal at the world stage but said they will wait until UCI announces a new city committed to host the competition.

"We will be waiting for the fate of the competition until September. If another city shows commitment to host the championships, we will see how we can plan to participate," Murenzi said in an interview.

The cancellation of the championships means that national team riders Renus Uhiriwe and Jean Eric Habimana will miss out on a chance to train at the World Cycling Centre in Switzerland. The two riders, who would be part of a tentative seven-man roster, were due to join camp at the prestigious facility on August 20, a month prior to the event.

"Joining the World Cycling Centre for the two boys depended on Rwanda's participation in the World Championships in Switzerland. We believed their specialised training camp would boost the national team's results in the competition," Murenzi explained.

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