The Tour Down Under in Australia, which was scheduled to take place in January, has been cancelled for a second straight year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers said on Thursday.
Traditionally the first World Tour race of the season, the event was set to include the men's UCI WorldTour and women's UCI ProTour races but the country's strict quarantine measures proved to be a major hurdle in bringing teams to Australia.
"Despite everyone's best efforts, it is with regret that we advise that the Santos Tour Down Under... will not go ahead in 2022," the organisers said in a statement.
"We have fully explored all avenues, but unfortunately in the end it was the border closures and quarantine requirements for more than 400 people that make up the international teams that proved to still be too difficult to overcome."
The race was last held in 2020. Organisers said they will be holding in its place a domestic event from Jan. 21-29 called the Santos Festival of Cycling on the streets of Adelaide and regional South Australia.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Barbara Lewis)