The 2020 UCI Road World Championships will no longer take place in Switzerland but could be moved elsewhere, it was announced on Wednesday.

The event was scheduled to take place from September 20 until September 27 in Aigle and Martigny but that was deemed inviable after the Swiss Federal Council maintained a ban on gatherings of over 1,000 people due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The UCI stated it would seek an alternative host to ensure the championships still go ahead, with a final decision to be taken by September 1.

"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," the UCI said in a statement.

"Given the sporting importance of the UCI Road World Championships for cycling, the UCI would like to clarify that it will work towards finding an alternative project to ensure the 2020 edition of the event can take place, with the priority being in Europe and at the dates initially scheduled. It could include all or some of the planned races.

"The UCI will look for a host city that would be able to provide a route as challenging as that in Aigle-Martigny and which would therefore suit the same type of riders who had initially planned to participate in Switzerland.

"Conscious that time is of the essence for the athletes, the national federations and all implicated parties, the UCI will communicate more information as soon as possible and will take a final decision by September 1 at the latest."

The Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana will overlap in October this year after the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) revealed its revised 2020 schedule on Tuesday.

Racing was halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the suspension last month extended until August 1 for the UCI's WorldTour events, including the three Grand Tours.

But following a period of consultation with representatives of riders, organisers and teams, the UCI has laid out fresh plans for the conclusion of the season, which will see 25 events crammed into a little over three months.

The plans are subject to current social and travel restrictions being lifted, but the season is due to resume on August 1 with Strade Bianche in Tuscany, Italy, before finishing on November 8 with the conclusion of La Vuelta, which is now set to begin on October 20.

Spain's Grand Tour - initially set to start in mid-August - had been shortened by a weekend at the request of organisers, after the city of Utrecht in Netherlands declared it would not be able to meet conditions for the Grand Depart.

However, even with La Vuelta operating with a reduced schedule, it will overlap – as had been expected – with the Giro d'Italia, which is to run from October 3-25.

The Tour de France had already been confirmed to start on August 29 and finish on September 20.

UCI president David Lappartient said: "We have drawn up a solid, attractive and varied new calendar that is as realistic and coherent as possible. This has been achieved as early as was practicable and in line with information available today [Tuesday] concerning the evolution of the pandemic.

"Riders, teams and organisers now have the dates they need to anticipate the resumption of racing on August 1. This is a very important step that the entire cycling community, financially impacted by the pandemic, has been waiting for to move forward."

He added: "We will continue to move forward together towards the resumption of the season, nevertheless with the reminder that the health of riders and all concerned parties is still the overriding priority, and that the recommencement of our activities will remain dependent on the evolution of the world health situation."

The Women's WorldTour is also set to recommence on August 1, with its new schedule including 18 events.

Mads Pedersen clinched the UCI World Championship title in stunning fashion with a scintillating sprint finish at the culmination of a gruelling men's elite road race.

With favourites such as Peter Sagan, Julian Alaphilippe and Alejandro Valverde having fallen off the pace throughout a shortened 262km route due to adverse weather, it was youngster Pedersen who triumphed against the odds in Harrogate.

Matteo Trentin looked in prime position with 200m to go, but made his move too early, with Pedersen jumping straight onto his rivals' wheel before bursting off to secure a first-ever road race gold for a Danish rider.  

Trentin followed in second with Stefan Kung completing the podium - three-time champion Sagan, who had made a late push off the front of the peloton, coming over in fifth after Gianni Moscon, who dropped off the leading pack with six kilometres remaining.

"Unbelievable! We didn't expect this when we started this morning. At first [the aim] was to survive, survive, survive," the 23-year-old Pedersen told BBC Sport.

"When I saw the finish line I hoped the pain would be gone and I could do a good sprint. After six-and-a-half hours on the bike there is not much left.

"You have to be focused and stay in front. Don't get any bad luck. It's every rider's dream to wear that jersey. For me to do it now is unbelievable."

Defending champion Valverde abandoned the race with more than 50km remaining, telling Spanish media: "It's a world championship for mad men."

Another favourite cracked with 12km to go, Mathieu van der Poel finally deciding he could no longer keep pace with the lead group, which was soon trimmed to four when Moscon gave up his chance for a medal. 

Tao Geoghegan Hart came in as the leading British rider, finishing 26th, while Geraint Thomas finished far out of contention in Yorkshire.

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