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March 20, 2020
Photography by Cor Vos
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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
Five-time Tour de France champ Bernard Hinault is spending his time on lockdown chopping wood at his farm, but he recently found time to weigh in on the difficulties facing the cycling world.
In an interview with Le Parisien, Hinault said that the Tour may need to be cancelled, and acknowledged that it would make sense to move quickly to do that if it became clear that it was necessary. As tough as that would be, it’s clear that “The Badger” sees the bigger picture right now.
Meanwhile, with so many places on lockdown and so many races called off, people across the cycling world are shifting focus to ways they can help. Bigla-Katusha pro Elise Chabbey happens to be a recent med school graduate. With skills that are as valuable as ever right now, instead of racing Classics she has gone to work at a Geneva hospital.
Then there’s Santini, which is shifting its production capabilities from making cycling clothing to making masks, which are in short supply right now, particularly in Italy where Santini is based.
Chapeau to them and everyone else finding time to lend a hand.
Until next time, readers.
| Hinault: We should not hesitate if the Tour has to be cancelled
Five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault is taking the coronavirus crisis seriously and he hopes that the sport continues to do the same—even if that means calling off its biggest event of the year. Hinault acknowledged in an interview with Le Parisien that the Tour might need to be cancelled, and said that if so, it would make sense to move quickly once that became clear.
“The Tour is really a huge machine, since you also need police escort and hotels. We should certainly not hesitate,” Hinault said. As the 65-year-old Breton pointed out, “The Tour de France is a great party, but life is more important.”
| Bigla-Katusha’s Elise Chabbey goes to work at Geneva Hospital
Swiss pro Elise Chabbey (Bigla-Katusha) was planning on racing a busy Classics campaign this year, and even with the races on her calendar now called off, she has stayed busy just the same. A recent med school graduate, Chabbey has gone to work in a Geneva hospital, where the already great need for her skills will only grow in the coming days.
“Doing nothing is really not in my nature,” Chabbey said via a team press release. “What’s happening now is unprecedented, and given the severity of the situation, I feel like I have to do something.”
| Belgian Waffle Ride San Diego reschedules for November
San Diego’s Belgian Waffle Ride has been rescheduled from its initially planned date of May 3 to November 8 amid coronavirus concerns.
The move comes a month after organizers announced that the popular gravel event would be expanding from its roots as a singular race in San Diego to a three-race series known as the Tripel Crown of Gravel. The San Diego round would have been the first of that trio of races; instead, it has been pushed to a spot on the calendar now past the events in Asheville, North Carolina and Cedar City, Utah (assuming they maintain their current dates).
| Santini shifts production to start making face masks
Italian company Santini has decided to shift its production capabilities from making athletic clothing to making masks.
Based in Bergamo, which has been dramatically impacted by the coronavirus crisis in Italy, Santini is working with another local company, Sitip, which will supply the fabric for the masks. Assuming a prototype passes necessary testing, Santini plans to produce thousands of masks per day.
| RGT Cycling makes its virtual cycling platform free
RRGT Cycling, a new virtual cycling competitor to Zwift, has announced that it will offer all of its premium features without charge (until further notice). The announcement comes in response to cyclists the world over being locked indoors.
The company’s press release states that “Workouts, organizing your own events and creating your own roads are now freely available for all (usually £12.99 / $14.99 per month).” You can find more information at rgtcycling.com.
| Rouvy announces charitable initiative to support Italy’s Veneto region
Indoor cycling platform Rouvy has announced the #RideForItaly initiative, which will see the company donate 1 euro to Northern Italy’s Veneto region for every rider who rides on one of Rouvy’s pre-selected virtual routes in Italy.
Rouvy will provide free access to the platform during the period of the charitable indoor cycling marathon.
| Rapha debuts Limited Edition Country collection
Rapha has rolled out a new collection that pays homage to the World Championship contenders of 1970, with jerseys available that recall those of the British, Dutch, Italian, Danish, and Belgian teams from a bygone era.
| Road to Cape Epic EP6
The 2020 Absa Cape Epic may have been called off, but you can still check out the gear that Wade and Alby had been training on and had planned to race on.
| Harsh realities of women’s cycling, part two
The second installment of Molly Weaver’s series on the harsh realities of women’s cycling focuses on the challenges of the expectations placed on riders.