Cycling's Vuelta a Espana cuts Portugal from itinerary

Madrid (AFP) –


The Vuelta a Espana organisers said on Saturday that a race already rescheduled and shortened would also now cut its foray into neighbouring Portugal from the 2020 itinerary.

Postponed until October 20, the race had already lost three stages in the Netherlands where it had been slated to embark August 14 and reduced to just 18 stages instead of 21.

Now the scheduled two-day swing into Portugal for parts of two stages has also been binned, organisers announced with regret Saturday.

"In a situation as exceptional as the one we are currently living, we have to be flexible and understand these kinds of decisions and changes" declared Javier Guillen, Director of La Vuelta.

"It's a shame not to be able to visit Portugal in 2020, but we don't want this flame to be put out: we will keep this relationship alive, we will maintain and develop the links we have formed, so that we may return to this country that has treated us to well," he added.

The changes mean that stage 15, with its finish-line located between Porto and Matosinhos, as well as stage 16, with its departure from the city of Viseu, are off the route.

Alternative host cities have already been approved and will be revealed when their respective route and profiles have been finalised.

The Vuelta unveiled its final line up on Friday with a roster of 19 cycling world tour teams and three wild card invites that excluded 2016 champion Nairo Quintana's Arkea-Samsic.