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Sports News

Algarve Tour postponed as Portugal battles COVID-19 surge

(Reuters) - Spiralling COVID-19 infection rates in Portugal have forced the postponement of next month’s five-day Volta ao Algarve UCI ProSeries cycling race.

The event, scheduled to start on Feb. 17 has been provisionally moved to May 5-9, organisers said.

“Postponement is a difficult decision, but it has become inevitable, given the evolution of the pandemic situation in Portugal,” a statement said.

Daily coronavirus cases in Portugal rose 40% on Wednesday from the previous day to a record 14,647, with the national health system (SNS) on the verge of collapse and the government pondering tougher lockdown measures to tackle the surge.

The Algarve Tour, which had attracted 14 WorldTour teams, is the latest race to be postponed as the professional cycling calendar faces disruption.

The Tour Down Under, Vuelta a San Juan, Challenge Mallorca, Herald Sun Tour, Tour Colombia and Tour of Antalya have already been cancelled or postponed.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris

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