Joe Martin Stage Race canceled in Fayetteville

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

The 2020 Joe Martin Stage Race has been canceled, organizers announced on Thursday.

The four-day event was originally scheduled for early April, but was postponed and later reduced to a one-day, two stage event scheduled for Aug. 30.

Organizers said they hoped that the race would be the first Pro Road Tour (PRT) event to return in 2020, but said the continued impact of the pandemic in Northwest Arkansas along with event and travel restrictions made it difficult for teams, athletes and the local community to participate.

“These decisions are difficult but public health and safety are always our primary concern,” said Bruce Dunn, race director. “We are especially grateful to Experience Fayetteville and our local and national sponsors standing with us to continue in our goal of holding an international stage race.

“We are extremely grateful to the pro and domestic peloton for their patience and understanding and their willingness to find a path forward. USA Cycling (USAC) and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) were supportive of holding the event if we could meet local and state guidelines, but the conditions just weren’t safe for all concerned.”

This year would’ve been the 43rd edition of the event, which is one of the longest, continually held professional cycling races in the United States. It typically includes about 500 professional and amateur athletes from 20 countries who fill hotels and guest homes across town and the surrounding area. The event includes road races, an individual time trial, and a series of fast-paced criterium races in downtown Fayetteville.

Dunn said the race will return April 8 – 11, 2021.