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Doubts grow over Giro d'Italia after Italy announces nationwide coronavirus lockdown

Joe Robinson
10 Mar 2020

All sporting events are cancelled or postponed until at least 4th April as Italian government acts to curb virus

The decision by the Italian government to lockdown the entire country amid the coronavirus outbreak has increased concerns around the Giro d'Italia. On Monday evening, Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte decreed that the entire country would be placed under immediate lockdown in a bid to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus around the country and abroad.

Initially, the lockdown had been limited to northern Italy and the areas of Lombardy and Veneto, but has now been extended.

In a statement, Conte said: 'We need to change our lifestyle. We need to change it now. That’s why I have decided to adopt these hard measures.'

There have been 400 confirmed deaths in Italy with a total of 9,000 cases nationwide. Globally, there have been 4,000 deaths with 113,000 confirmed cases, as of Monday 9th March.

This decision means that all sporting events have been cancelled until 4th April. Efforts will be made to rearrange these events but it is likely some will be cancelled indefinitely. 

This latest measure has now increased worries over the Giro d'Italia. The first Grand Tour of the year, it is due to start in Budapest, Hungary on Saturday 9th May - in 60 days' time.

While this is a month after the official quarantine end date, there are worries that the developing situation could spill into May and affect the Giro.

So far, the race organiser has already had to postpone Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo in March. This came after cancelling the UAE Tour mid-race due to confirmed cases of the virus.

The respective sportive attached to Strade Bianche was also cancelled.

Currently, across the border in France, Paris-Nice is continuing albeit with stricter hygiene guidelines and a ban on spectators at the start and finish of the stage.

This came after the French government's health department banned all meetings of over 1,000 people.

If these guidelines continue, there is a chance that Paris-Roubaix and it's respective amateur sportive could be effected on the 11th and 12th April.