Cyclists compete in the HTV Cycling Tournament in 2019. This year's event has been delayed and a new date will be confirmed later. Photo htv.com.vn
HÀ NỘI — The annual HCM City Television (HTV) Cycling Tournament will be delayed this year due to the coronavirus, the organisers have announced.
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 Việt Nam, as usual.
Organisers say the event might begin in mid May to celebrate late President Hồ Chí 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,” Ngô Quang Vinh, Vice President of the Việt Nam 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 Hà Nội to HCM City.
The delay has affected the teams’ plans.
The Military Zone 7 and VUS-HCM City have left their training camps in Đà Lạt to return to HCM City.
“We planned to train in Đà Lạt until the end of March before travelling to Hà Nội for the tournament. Now it is delayed, we have to return home and build another plan,” said coach Đỗ Thành Đạt of VUS-HCM City.
Bike Life Đồng Nai crew were also back home in Đồng Nai on Saturday while Domesco Đồng Tháp will leave Đà Lạt on Tuesday. Hạt Ngọc Trời An Giang stay on and train in Nha Trang, waiting for the event.
The tournament is the biggest cycling event in Việt Nam 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. Lê Nguyệt Minh of HCM City MM Mega Market took the green jersey as the best sprinter. Golakhour Mirsamad Pourseyed of Lộc Trời An Giang Group was King of Mountains and Nguyễn Quốc Bảo of Domesco Đồng Tháp was the best young rider. VNS