The opening stages of this year's Giro d'Italia set to be held in Hungary have been cancelled due to emergency measures introduced by Budapest to fight the coronavirus outbreak, Hungarian organisers said on Friday.
Three stages - a time-trial in the capital city followed by two stages in western Hungary - were scheduled to take place 9-11 May.
"Due to the serious epidemic situation in Europe, the first three stages of the Giro d'Italia (the "Grande Partenza") will not take place in Hungary," said a statement by the Hungarian organising committee signed by government official Mariusz Revesz.
Hungary, where 19 cases of the infection have been confirmed so far, introduced emergency measures on Wednesday prohibiting outdoor events attended by more than 500 people.
This "makes it impossible to organise international events," said the organisers' statement.
"(Organisers in Italy and Hungary) have agreed that both parties are determined to work together to enable Giro d'Italia to depart from Hungary at a later time," it said.
The Hungarian start was to be the 14th time the Giro started outside Italy.