After a disastrous 2020 gran fondo season which forced two of the world’s most popular amateur cycling series to cancel almost all of their events, the 2021 outlook is not much better.
In August, under new ownership, the Haute Route series announced an optimistic 2021 plan to hold 8 multi-day gran fondo stage races starting with Haute Route Brazil in March.
Those plans are now starting to crumble under continued pandemic pressure.
Haute Route Brazil scheduled 26-28 March has been postponed to 22-24 October in hopes of dodging the virus. Haute Route Oman from 29-31 October and Haute Route Mexico from 05-07 November have both been cancelled.
On a positive note, Haute Route’s flagship event, Haute Route Alps, is still tentatively scheduled 22-28 August.
The L’Etape by Tour de France amateur series is in even worse shape. After announcing 21 events across the world, only 9 events have set dates thus far.
Tenatively, L’Etape Australia will launch the series in March, with L’Etape Switzerland, Brazil and Indonesia wrapping things up in September. In-between, four events are packed into June (Czech Republic, Spain, Mexico, Rio), with Nice, France hosting L’Etape du Tour, the crown jewel of the series, on 4 July where amateur cyclists will ride a stage of the 2020 Tour de France.
Announced, but still unscheduled L’Etape events include United Kingdom, Malaysia, Canada, Slovakia, Moscow, Thailand, La Paz, Acapulco, Colombia and China.