Hungary will not host the starting stages of the Giro d’Italia in May because of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, a government official said on Friday.
“Because of the serious epidemic in Europe, it will not be possible to organise the first three stages of the Giro d’Italia, the Grande Partenza, in May 2020,” government commissioner Máriusz Révész said on his Facebook page.
He said the Hungarian organisers had communicated with the Italian organisers several times in the past three weeks and signalled that the race could not be allowed to endanger the security or the health of Hungarian people. At a video conference on March 12, the Hungarian committee organising the contest said the Grande Partenza could not take place on the originally planned dates, he added.
“The sides agreed to make it a common goal to amend the [race] contract in the interest of starting the Giro d’Italia at a later time,” Révész said.
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Hungary was to have hosted the Grande Partenza starting stages of the Giro d’Italia, one of Europe’s three cycling Grand Tours, from May 9 to 11. An individual time trial would have taken place in Budapest on Saturday, May 9; while the second stage would have started in the capital and finished in Győr (NW Hungary); and the third stage would have started in Székesfehérvár (C Hungary) and finished in Nagykanizsa, skirting the shores of Lake Balaton.
Hungary’s government earlier allocated 7.7 billion forints (EUR 22.8m) for the organisation of the three stages.
Featured photo illustration via Giro d’Italia’s Facebook page