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March 19, 2020
Photography by Gruber Images
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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
With the traditional approach of racing the Spring Classics in the European spring no longer feasible, the road cycling world is starting to look ahead.
After a meeting with various stakeholders around the pro peloton, the UCI released a statement on Wednesday that called off all UCI events through the end of April and perhaps beyond. The organization is, however, already considering how the “resumption of the cycling season” might play out.
In the statement, the UCI said that the road season could be extended, with priority for rescheduling – at least as far as men’s racing goes – given to the Grand Tours and Monuments.
Whatever happens, it will be a long ways down the road, but at least it’s something for cycling fans to look forward to in the weeks and months ahead.
Until next time, readers.
| UCI calls off racing through April, plans for possible extended season
In a statement on Wednesday following a meeting with various pro road cycling stakeholders, the UCI announced that there would be no sanctioned racing through at least April due to the coronavirus crisis. At the same time, the organization is also already looking ahead to planning how the “resumption of the cycling season” could occur.
The UCI noted that the road racing season could be extended, and also that Grand Tours and Monuments will be given priority when it comes to rescheduling postponed events.
| Giro: Organizers looking to late May?
In a post at Cycling Opinions, veteran cycling journalist Raymond Kerckhoffs says that the RCS is working with local authorities in planning a possible Giro d’Italia start in Italy on May 29.
Rescheduling the Giro as early as late May would likely require a major shift in the state of affairs in Italy. As of mid-March, the country is in the midst of a serious crisis, casting considerable doubt on the feasibility of holding major sporting events any time soon, let alone within a month and a half.
Separate from the announcement of its general plans for rescheduling events in 2020, the UCI released another statement on Wednesday regarding rumors surrounding the rescheduling of the Giro, intended to “clarify its position after the comments attributed to its President David Lappartient and inaccurately reported by certain media.” Despite the additional statement, however, clarity was hard to come by considering there was little further detail provided. Moreover, it is unclear whether the UCI’s statement was in reference to talk of a late May Giro or to rumors reported elsewhere that a potentially shortened Giro would be held in the fall.
| Olympic organizers forge ahead
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in a Tuesday statement that it remains “fully committed” to hosting the Tokyo Games but “will continue to act in a responsible way” as it monitors the coronavirus situation.
Olympic organizers have faced questions from the public, the media, and athletes across the world of sport regarding plans to continue with the Games. In its statement, the IOC stressed that “with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage; and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive.”
| Anti-doping controls amid a pandemic
As various countries across the world step up their responses to the spread of coronavirus, anti-doping authorities are trying to adapt to a new reality that makes testing much more difficult.
Cyclingnews reports that UK athletes will experience a “significant reduction” in anti-doping tests, and that USADA is focused on athletes still in competition or preparing for the Olympics. According to NOS, Herman Ram, head of Dutch anti-doping, said that an inability to conduct in-competition tests is leading to a reduced number of controls.
| RockShox updates SID suspension range
RockShox has overhauled its SID cross country racing suspension range with two totally new (and different) fork platforms and a matching rear shock, too.
The new SID SL is more in line with what the SID platform has been known for in recent years – a 100mm travel fork with 32mm stanchions intended for cross country racing. With a new chassis, damper, and spring, this new model drops the weight to a class-leading 1,326g figure.
Adding a little more versatility, the more simply labelled SID forks now offer 120mm travel with stiffer 35mm stanchions. In both cases there’s a new damper that weighs a very impressive 88 grams, less than half the weight of the previous version. Read more over at Pinkbike.
| Simon Clarke: ‘There’s much more important things than racing a pushbike’
Matt de Neef caught up with Simon Clarke and talked about his strong start to the season, what lies ahead, and life as a pro in the time of coronavirus.
| 2020 CyclingTips Gravel Bike Field Test: Is MTB geometry good for gravel?
After testing out quite a few rides at the recent CyclingTips Gravel Bike Field Test, James Huang ponders whether mountain bike geometry works for gravel bikes.
Today’s featured image of Esteban Chaves winning stage 19 of the 2019 Giro d’Italia comes from Gruber Images.