No Tour de Suisse in 2020
The Corona pandemic has not spared Switzerland's largest sporting event. The Tour de Suisse organisation, in agreement with all partners, has decided to cancel the Tour de Suisse 2020 early, despite authorities not yet imposing a ban on the event. This is the first time since the Second World War that the traditional event will not take place.
The decision was also made not to postpone the Tour de Suisse until later in the racing calendar, as this is not feasible in logistical and financial terms.
"It was with a heavy heart that we have made this decision due to the Corona pandemic. We are however convinced that it is the best solution to provide certainty and thus planning security for participants, fans and partners. For the Tour de Suisse, it is also an important step to ensure the continuation of this event in the future," explains Olivier Senn, Co-Managing Director of the Tour de Suisse organisation.
"We would like to thank all sponsors, host cities, suppliers and our staff for their extraordinary support and solidarity. "
The following factors led to the decision to cancel the Tour de Suisse 2020:
- The great uncertainty since the outbreak of the virus regarding whether the TdS can take place at all makes professional planning almost impossible. This uncertainty particularly affects the support required from the army and police for the safe execution of the event.
- Each nation has taken individual measures and, in some countries, cycling outdoors is completely prohibited, therefore it cannot be assumed that all cyclists will be able to prepare professionally for participation in the TdS. As such a fair competition cannot be guaranteed by the organisers. Applicable travel restrictions must also be considered.
- The risk of additional strain on the Swiss health system due to possible crashes during racing is high. This must be avoided in the current situation. Ensuring the best possible medical care for participants and spectators alike in the event of any accident has top priority.
- Since the outbreak of the virus in Switzerland at the end of February, the acquisition of sponsors and the sale of hospitality packages is almost impossible. Staging the event would result in substantial financial losses.
- Further delay of the decision to cancel would result in increased costs. This applies not only to the Tour de Suisse organisation, but also to all sponsors, host cities and suppliers involved.
- The top priority of the Tour de Suisse organisation is to ensure the continuity of this event. Early cancellation increases the chances that the event will take place in the future.
Despite the great solidarity of all those involved, the Tour de Suisse will examine in detail all the support measures available from the federal government to deal with the corona crisis.
In 2021 the Tour de Suisse should take place with very few changes from the plans for this year’s event. Discussions are in full swing with all host cities and the TdS organisation is confident that planning will be finalised soon. This will significantly reduce the time and effort required for planning next year.
The actual date of the Tour de Suisse 2021 is at present open, as the UCI WorldTour Calendar has not yet been fixed due to the postponement of the Olympic Games. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that the TdS will again take place in the first half of June.
Innovative digital racing series to start soon
Despite the cancellation of the Tour de Suisse 2020, cycling fans will be offered new and exciting challenges with an innovative digital racing series for professionals and keen hobby cyclists.
With "The Digital Swiss 5", cycle races will be held on Swiss roads from 22 - 26.4.2020 after all – a world first of the virtual kind. Not only the world's best professional cyclists can compete in these digital races after weeks of forced break, but also cycling fans will get to see some action. Currently, 17 WorldTour and ProTeams as well as the Swiss national team have already registered for "The Digital Swiss 5", and this after only a few days since the announcement of the digital race series.
If this innovative format proves successful, it could form the basis for a digital Tour de Suisse from 7 - 14.6.2020. The Tour de Suisse organisation - together with the partners of "The Digital Swiss 5" (SRF, Velon and ROUVY) - will decide on this by the beginning of May.