The UCI weighs in: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.

The cycling world may have seen its last weekend of major races for quite some time.

On Saturday in France, Max Schachmann took the overall win at Paris-Nice as Nairo Quintana climbed to an impressive stage 7 victory.

On Sunday, the UCI announced that it would suspend classification for all sanctioned events until at least April 3. Of course, most big road races through that date have already been called off by organizers – but it is possible that the decision could extend further, halting racing for the foreseeable future.

We will continue to monitor the situation.

Until next week, readers.

What’s news

| UCI suspends sanctioned events until at least April 3

In an announcement of what it described as “strong measures faced with the development of the coronavirus,” the UCI has suspended classification for events “until further notice but at least until 3 April.”

The decision halts sanctioned racing for the events in that time period, although the list of races that have yet to be cancelled by organizers is short, with the Tour of Thailand the largest road race affected. The organization is also moving to retroactively end Olympic qualification for mountain bike, BMX Racing, BMX Freestyle, and para-cycling road events as of March 3.

| Quintana wins stage 7 and Schachmann takes overall at Paris-Nice, the last pro road race for a while

Max Schachmann took the overall win at Paris-Nice after leading the race wire-to-wire. The German nabbed the opening stage and held on all the way through to Saturday’s stage 7, which became the final stage of the race after organizers shortened the event by one day amid the coronavirus crisis.

Nairo Quintana climbed to a dominant stage 7 win solo at Valdeblore La Colmiane, besting Tiesj Benoot by 46 seconds with Thibaut Pinot in third a further 10 seconds back. Schachmann was sixth on the day, good enough to seal the GC win ahead of Benoot and Sergio Higuita.

Stage 7 results

1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic 4:27:01
2. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb 0:00:46
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:56

Final GC

1. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 27:14:23
2. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb 0:00:18
3. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling 0:00:59

| McElveen and Finchamp win The Mid South

Payson McElveen and Hannah Finchamp took the victories on a very muddy Saturday at The Mid South, among the first major gravel events of the year (and potentially the last for quite some time).

Finchamp rode clear of the women’s field early and held on to take the win by more than 12 minutes over Amanda Nauman, with Kristin Faulkner in third. In the men’s event, McElveen soloed away in the latter stages of the 103-mile race to take the victory over Colin Strickland and Jonathan Baker.

| USA Cycling suspends permits for races through April 5

USA Cycling has moved to halt sanctioned races, “due to the latest data on COVID-19’s spread and the healthcare system’s ability to manage the crisis.” The organization recommended the immediate cancellation of all sanctioned events, announcing that permits will be suspended through April.

“We are taking measures within our control and asking everyone involved in this sport to protect our community so we can get back to riding and racing with everyone in good health as soon as possible,” USA Cycling said in a statement.

| Abbey Bike Tools dishes up a new tool

Abbey Bike Tools has a new premium workshop tool intended for wheel building and wheel repairs. The Harbour Gauge is a wheel dishing tool that’s used to center the rim over the hub axle. Such a tool is already a staple in most professional workshops, however, Abbey’s version adds an impressive all metal build quality, stand-off pegs for use with tires installed, and an ultra fast/repeatable spring loaded drop plunger.

At US$250 it’s certainly one for the pros. The story of how it came to be is quite unique, hint: it involves our tool-obsessed tech editor Dave Rome. See more at Abbey Bike Tools.

In case you missed it

| Lockdown in Spain impacts countless pros

As reported over at VeloNews, Spain has entered lockdown in response to the coronavirus, which means that countless pros in cycling hubs like Girona and elsewhere will no longer be riding outside.

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Today’s featured image of Oliver Naesen and Danny van Poppel at Gent-Wevelgem comes from Kristof Ramon.

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