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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
Amid widespread cancellations and postponements of sporting events all over the world, the status of the 2020 Tour de France remains undecided.
Over the past few days, the feasibility of hosting the race amid a global crisis has seemed questionable at best, but France’s Minister of Youth and Sports addressed the subject in a recent interview, and didn’t rule out the possibility of running the Tour without spectators.
It seems that, for now, the French government and the ASO are considering their options. As French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu pointed out, the Tour’s business model is not reliant on ticket sales the way other sports are, perhaps making a spectator-less event more feasible. That said, Maracineanu has emphasized that it remains “too early to decide.”
As she wrote on Twitter this week, “There is a time for everything. Right now, we have a more urgent battle to fight. Let us dedicate all our strength to this mountain before considering the next.”
Stay safe, readers.
| French sports minister considering possibility of Tour without spectators
Roxana Maracineanu, French Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, said in a recent interview with France Bleu that the government is still considering options for the 2020 Tour. Postponement and cancellation are on the table, but a Tour without spectators has not yet been ruled out.
“Everything is imaginable,” Maracineanu said. “We have [imposed spectator bans] for other competitions before, even though it won’t have the same impact because the business model of the Tour doesn’t depend on ticket sales like football or rugby.”
In any case, Maracineanu tweeted after the interview that for now it is still “too early to decide” on the status of the race.
| Gaviria cleared to leave Abu Dhabi
Nearly a month after the UAE Tour was halted, Fernando Gaviria has left the Abu Dhabi hospital where he has been since testing positive for coronavirus. The Colombian sprinter said on social media on Thursday that he was cleared to leave after recent tests came back negative and is now headed home, one day after teammate Max Richeze was also discharged.
“I hope that this extraordinary situation will end soon and that we can get back to normal life,” Gaviria wrote on Instagram.
| Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation will try to continue testing amid lockdowns
The Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) said on Thursday that it will continue testing when possible even amid widespread lockdowns. The CADF plans to keep up its anti-doping efforts with modified protocols, with the organization saying its “top priority is the health and welfare of the cyclists, their entourage and the sample collection personnel.”
Riders are required to continue submitting whereabouts information.
“Where testing can continue, priority will be given to riders in the UCI Registered Testing Pool (RTP), in particular to urgent missions,” read a statement from the CADF. “For all tests, the safety measures are reinforced to protect the health of cyclists, their entourage and Doping Control Officers (DCOs) in accordance with WADA guidance.”
| Alvarado eyes MTB Worlds
As she eyes a possible 2024 Olympic mountain bike bid, cyclocross world champ Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado plans to race MTB more moving forward. According to Wielerflits, Alvarado says she is hoping to improve her technique and also pick up more UCI points with race starts in the future.
The next MTB Worlds is a target for now, with Alvarado saying she is hoping for a top 15 finish.
| The Sufferfest and Wahoo release new “All In” indoor training plans
Wahoo’s-own training platform, The Sufferfest, has released a suite of month-long indoor-focused training plans. In addition to spinning circles indoors, these plans place increased emphasis on yoga, strength and metal training.
New users of the Sufferfest are being offered a free month subscription, enough to make your way through one of these new training plans (you’ll need to use code “ALLINSUFPLAN”).
| Socially Speaking
Adam Hansen is putting his 3D printer to work in a tough time.
In case you missed it
| Beyond the energy bar: What pros are buying to gain a (legal) edge
James Huang paid a visit to the folks at The Feed to find out what goes on behind the scenes for those supplying sports nutrition to pro racers.
| How I broke up with caffeine (and why I desperately needed to)
As Andy van Bergen explains, it’s not easy for an avid coffee drinker to quit caffeine.
Today’s featured image of the final sprint on stage 3 of the 2019 Giro d’Italia – won by Fernando Gaviria after Elia Viviani was relegated – comes from Cor Vos.