Only a few days ago the UCI Gran Fondow World Series and UCI Gran Fondo Moscow confirmed everything was set for the Moscow UCI Gran Fondo World Championship qualifying race to occur as planned and on schedule this weekend, 14-15 August.
But it seems they were just hoping everything was in order.
On 27 July Gran Fondo Moscow announced, “Since Moscow still has no opportunity to hold the planned starts of the UCI Gran Fondo World Series qualifying competitions, the events are [now] scheduled for August 15 in the vicinity of the city Vereya.”
And on the eve of the race, 13 August, the UCI Gran Fondo World Series posted on Facebook, “Granfondo Moscow can finally take place this weekend!”
Unfortunately, Gran Fondo Moscow will not take place this weekend after the organiser abruptly cancelled the race just hours before the start as riders were en-route to the venue in Vereya.
“With bitterness in the heart, we inform you that the starts of UCI Gran Fondo Moscow scheduled for August 14 and 15 in Vereya – will not take place on the scheduled date. We conducted all necessary preparations for the start: manufactured equipment, hired staff, prepared starter packages and organization of their delivery. [In] the last few days before the event, we made a huge effort to race, but in the current unstable times it was not enough, posted on Facebook 13 August 2021 22:03 by UCI Gran Fondo Moscow.
Pissed-off riders quickly vented their frustration on Facebook:
Tatyana Kuzina: “With such an attitude towards the participants, the level of [future] support is unlikely to be the same. Everyone understands the situation, but the absence of any information (and feedback) demonstrates your complete disregard for the interests of the participants and disrespect for them.”
Elizaveta Rettel: “It’s a pity that you have informed us just now. It was possible at least to write something so that we would not be so nervous ..”
Igor Modin: “What happened less than a day before the start of the event?!!”
Peter Yakovlev summed up his thoughts about the organiser in one word, “Bad.”
And on the UCI’s post about the event taking place this weekend Igor Gurzhuyenko quipped, “Funny post considering the event is canceled again.”
Perhaps no one told the UCI?
Nonetheless, Gran Fondo Moscow offered a brief apology, “We apologize sincerely for the broken plans, negative emotions, lack of selection for the final stage of UCI Gran Fondo [World Championships] in Bosnia to all of you who support our events with your participation. We will definitely meet at future starts as soon as this is possible. We hope for your support and understanding in this difficult situation.”
The 2020 edition of the race was cancelled, rescheduled for May 2021, rescheduled again for July 2021, once again rescheduled for August 2021 and now, positively, absolutely, undeniably and most sincerely cancelled.
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