David Lappartient is in favour of not extending the season "beyond what is reasonable" when cycling returns ©Getty Images

The President of the International Cycling Union (UCI), David Lappartient, has said the organisation is seeking to build a new calendar that will not extend the season "beyond what is reasonable".

Many races have been postponed or cancelled - with no events on the international road calendar until May at the earliest - and it is likely that more races will follow given the scale of the COVID-19 outbreak.

"This crisis is brutal, and the Governments have had to take appropriate action to ensure the protection of the population", Lappartient said in an address on Facebook.

"It is important that you are able to respect their rules."

Multiple professional cyclists have had to self-isolate either because of where they have traveled or by virtue of being in contact with somebody who has coronavirus, while training is also difficult in the age of social distancing and people being urged to leave home only for essential travel.

The cancellation or postponement of events and the possibility of more to follow, including the Tour de France, has led to discussion on changes to the cycling calendar which are "not easy".

However, Lappartient made it clear that he is in favour of the season not being extended for a long period, which may mean more cancellations rather than postponements. 

We are living unprecedented times, with challenges rising daily. As all parts of society, our sport is strongly impacted...

Posted by David Lappartient on Saturday, 28 March 2020

"We're going to try to find the best solution without extending the season beyond what is reasonable," the President said.

"We will try to protect what makes the richness of our sport, of course in road cycling, the Grand Tours, and the Monuments of our sport for both men and women."

It is not possible to say yet when the season will resume, given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic.

More than 32,000 people have died as a result of COVID-19 across the world.

Lappartient also described the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics until 2021 as a "wise decision" and one the UCI supports.

The UCI is in discussions with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) around issues arising from the postponement, particularly scheduling.

"We are working with them to evaluate the consequences for the qualification of the athletes, for their preparation, for the calendar in the years to come, in particular for 2021", Lappartient assured.

"You can count on the UCI to have a constructive dialogue with the IOC in this difficult period."