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The Milan-San Remo cycling race has become the latest sporting event in Italy to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the organisers announced on Friday.
The race's start town Milan is in Lombardy, a COVID-19 hot-spot, and so far 148 people have died from the outbreak in Italy.
A statement issued by RCS read:
Following the confirmation by the relevant authorities that they are unable to grant appropriate authorizations, RCS Sport has announced that the cycling race Tirreno-Adriatico, scheduled for March 11-17, is cancelled from its original dates.
Furthermore, as the appropriate authorities have verified that suitable conditions do not exist to guarantee the provisions of the DPCM (Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic) on March 4, 2020, and to guarantee the safeguarding of public health and the safety of all the people involved, RCS Sport made the decision to cancel Milan-Sanremo, scheduled for March 21, and Il Giro di Sicilia, scheduled for April 1-4.
RCS Sport will request the UCI, via the Italian Cycling Federation, to allocate new dates on the international cycling calendar for the three races, as has already been requested for Strade Bianche and Strade Bianche Women Elite.
Milano-Sanremo was first staged in 1907 and has been cancelled three times previously, in 1916, 1945 and 1946.
The one-day event, scheduled to take place on March 21, was shelved alongside next week's Tirreno-Adriatico, a week-long stage race.
No alternative dates for either races have yet been given.
The Strade Bianchi, the first big race of the Italian cycling season set to for Saturday, was also cancelled Thursday.
The eagerly awaited Milan-San Remo covers an epic 291km and due to its great length is part of the prestigious so-called Monument races, very long one-day classics.
Elsewhere the Paris-Nice stage race in France is set to go ahead starting Sunday despite several top teams withdrawing due to fears over the virus.
Riders from the postponed and cancelled races have been scrambling to take part at Paris-Nice with Peter Sagan, Romain Bardet and Vincenzo Nibali all late entries.
Conversely fears of the virus caused several teams to pull out of Paris-Nice, namely British team Ineos, Spain's Movistar and on Friday afternoon Dutch team Jumbo, whose leader Primoz Roglic had been among the favourites to win.
Cycling was rocked last week when the UAE Tour was abandoned due to the coronavirus when two Italian mechanics were diagnosed to have the virus.
Four cycling teams and their riders are still in a lockdown quarantine in the Emirates including local outfit UAE, French teams Cofidis and FDJ, and the Russian team Gazprom.
A swathe of Italy's Serie A football matches have been cancelled and the Italian government has decreed that no fans be allowed to attend sporting events inside stadiums until April 3.