A shortened Vuelta, San Sebastián and País Vasco cancelled: Daily News Digest

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Hello again CyclingTips readers!

While we seem to hear new rumors and reports regarding the reshuffled racing calendar every few hours, Wednesday brought some actually official announcements.

For one thing, organizers have announced that this year’s Vuelta a España will not start in the Netherlands as planned, and will run for 18 stages instead of 21.

With the three Dutch stages cut from the race, the 2020 Vuelta will begin in the Basque Country. Organizers are hoping to start a future edition of the race in the Netherlands instead.

Meanwhile, the UCI said that it will publish revised men’s and women’s road calendars at “the beginning of next week.” The organization had initially planned on unveiling those calendars this week.

In other words: Continue to stay tuned.

Until next time, readers.

What’s news

| Vuelta a España shortened to 18 stages

Organizers officially announced on Wednesday that the 2020 Vuelta a España will no longer start in the Netherlands, and will be shortened to 18 stages.

With the three planned Dutch stages cut from the event, the race will instead kick off in Irun in Spain’s Basque Country on the border with France, marking the first Basque Country start for the Vuelta since 1961.

| No Clásica San Sebastián or Vuelta al País Vasco in 2020

Speaking of bike racing in the Basque Country, the two WorldTour races centered on the region will not take place in 2020. Organizers of the Clásica San Sebastián and the Vuelta al País Vasco announced on Wednesday that the events are cancelled for this season.

“Our races move thousands of persons in and out of the events. In this situation, we can’t contribute to a new outbreak and its propagation,” said Julián Eraso, president of the race organization. “Moreover, we don’t believe that this is the moment to ask local governments and institutions for any help. It is time to return to society all that it has given us during so many years and we prefer that the money destined for the race on the part of the institutions can be invested in returning to normalcy and saving lives.”

| UCI to publish new calendars next week

The UCI said on Wednesday that it will publish the reshuffled men’s and women’s road racing calendars at “the beginning of next week.”

The organization had planned on announcing the calendars this week, but noted in a press release that it is continuing to work with stakeholders while accounting for recent measures announced by various national governments amid the coronavirus pandemic.

| Porte plans to be ready for 2020 Tour

Richie Porte says that the rescheduled Tour de France, as far off as it may still be, is helping him stay locked in to putting in the hours on the trainer.

“Once we had a date – I think I probably speak for everyone here – when you got up and had to do the daily Zwift, and all of that, it just became a real light at the end of the tunnel,” Porte said in an interview with Cyclingnews. “There was something to ride for. It’s a motivation that at least we’re training towards something.”

For Porte, it is important to be prepared for the resumption of racing whenever that does come. As he told Cyclingnews, “We know that the authorities are going to have the final word on what happens and which races take place, but at the same time we still need to make plans and programs. We need to be ready.”

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Today’s featured image of Aurelien Paret-Peintre in the opening time trial of the 2019 Vuelta al País Vasco comes from Cor Vos.

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