Posted by Editor on 04/15/20
The UCI and Tour de France organizers ASO have announced new dates for the Tour and, indeed the entire International Road men's calendar. The UCI says that by May 15th (at the latest) a revised Women's Road Calendar will be announced.
UCI President David Lappartient stated: "I would like to pay tribute to the representatives of the organizers, teams and riders for their collaboration and their commitment in these difficult times. We still have work to do to finalize the establishment of an entirely revised 2020 UCI International Calendar given the coronavirus pandemic that has shaken the world, but a first very important step has been taken today. Likewise, we have established a framework that will allow the fundamental rights of teams' riders and staff to be preserved, while enabling the measures necessary for the survival of these teams to be taken. Together, we will manage to get through this crisis and rebuild cycling post-Covid-19."
The broad outlines are as follows, with our comments inserted:
• The period of suspension of competitions on the UCI International Road Calendar was extended by one month, until July 1st, and until August 1st for UCI WorldTour events. This is almost redundant, given the ongoing closures announced by various nations.
• The Tour de France is postponed and will take place this year from August 29th to September 20th [Note: The dates for the women's La Course will be announced at a later date]. Holding this event in the best conditions possible is judged essential given its central place in cycling's economy and its exposure, in particular for the teams that benefit on this occasion from unparalleled visibility. This makes it completely clear that saving the Tour is considered the most important objective. It also means that other events that would normally take place during this time period - including the Quebec and Montreal WorldTour events - are secondary and may be lost for 2020. On the other hand, Quebec and Montreal could be good pre-Worlds events for riders that do not enter the Tour.
• The 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Aigle-Martigny (Switzerland) are maintained at the scheduled dates, September 20-27. The competition programme does not change. This event is the UCI's crown jewel for revenue, so there was no chance it would be impacted by the reshuffling of the calendar. The one day overlap with the Tour will conflict with the Men's Individual Time Trial, so the TT specialists may have to decide between the Worlds and the Tour - and the top men will have a week of recovery before the road race.
• The Giro d'Italia will take place after the UCI Worlds and will be followed by the Vuelta Ciclista a España. From a weather perspective, this makes the most sense, although anyone who finishes all three this year will be a cycling god!
• The National Championships, organized by the National Federations, will take place on the weekend of 22-23 August. These revised dates will still not work for the Canadian Road Nationals, if they plan to keep them in Levis, Quebec, because of the provincial government's restriction on events until the end of August. Canada will either need to find a different host province, or run them later, if they intend to keep them in Quebec.
• The UEC European Road Championships are maintained.
• The most prestigious one-day road races (the Monuments), ie Milano-Sanremo (Italy), the Tour des Flandres (Belgium), Paris-Roubaix (France), Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Belgium) and Il Lombardia (Italy), will all take place this season, at dates still to be defined. There will definitely be a LOT of overlap in events this Fall...
• As many events as possible on the UCI International Calendar, and notably the UCI WorldTour, will be rescheduled later in the season. We still need to see how this plays out for the Quebec and Montreal WorldTour events. If they can keep their dates, they could attract a good field of riders who don't go in the Tour, but are looking for preparation for the Worlds andand/or the Giro.
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