The annual Ho Chi Minh City Television (HTV) Cycling Tournament will be delayed this year due to the coronavirus, organisers have announced.
Cyclists compete in the HTV Cycling Tournament in 2019
The tournament was scheduled for April 5-30. However, the postponement means that it would not finish on the historic day of April 30, the Liberation Day of the City and Reunification Day of Vietnam, as usual.
The organisers said the event might begin in mid May to celebrate late President Ho Chi Minh’s 130th birthday on May 19, and wrap up on June 7.
There are also other schedules for the event which could be held in later months or even cancelled.
“The postponement is out of our control. We have made several plans for the tournament but it still depends on the deadly outbreak,” Ngo Quang Vinh, Vice President of the Vietnam Cycling and Motor Racing Federation, said.
“The top priority is people’s and athletes’ health. It is time to battle COVID-19.”
This year, 14 teams with 98 cyclists were set to compete over 20 stages covering more than 2,000km from Hanoi to HCM City.
The delay has affected the teams’ plans.
The Military Zone 7 and VUS-HCM City have left their training camps in Da Lat to return to HCM City.
“We planned to train in Da Lat until the end of March before travelling to Hanoi for the tournament. Now it is delayed, we have to return home and build another plan,” said coach Do Thanh Dat of VUS-HCM City.
Bike Life Dong Nai crew were also back home in Dong Nai on March 28 while Domesco Dong Thap will leave Da Lat on March 31. Hat Ngoc Troi An Giang stay on and train in Nha Trang, waiting for the event.
The tournament is the biggest cycling event in Vietnam and has been running for 31 years, luring the nation’s best cyclists every year.
Last year, Javier Sarda Perez of VIS-HCM City took the yellow jersey as the winner. Le Nguyet Minh of HCM City MM Mega Market took the green jersey as the best sprinter. Golakhour Mirsamad Pourseyed of Loc Troi An Giang Group was King of Mountains and Nguyen Quoc Bao of Domesco Dong Thap was the best young rider./.VNS