A virtual Ronde, Prudhomme’s Tour update: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.

We may not get to watch an actual, outdoors Tour of Flanders on Sunday, but organizers will at least give fans something original to watch in lieu of the real thing.

As announced Thursday, 13 marquee riders will contest a virtual Flanders race on Sunday that organizers are calling De Ronde 2020: Lockdown Edition.

Will it be the same as watching the Classics stars charge up the Oude Kwaremont in front of raucous crowds? No. But it will be a chance to see Greg Van Avermaet, Wout van Aert, Michael Matthews, Alberto Bettiol, and others at least competing against each other while in the saddle.

After weeks without any big races outside, we’ll be glad to see the big names in a race broadcast, even if they aren’t leaving their living rooms.

Until next time, readers.

What’s news

| Van Avermaet, Van Aert, and other stars set for virtual Tour of Flanders

The organizers of the Tour of Flanders have announced a virtual event that will run on Sunday instead of the real thing, which was postponed amid coronavirus concerns. “De Ronde 2020: Lockdown Edition” will see a handful of riders competing on indoor trainers on the Bkool platform, riding a virtual rendition of the last 32 kilometers of the Tour of Flanders.

The 13 starters are Alberto Bettiol, Greg Van Avermaet, Wout van Aert, Zdenek Stybar, Oliver Naesen, Remco Evenepoel, Yves Lampaert, Jasper Stuyven, Thomas De Gendt, Tim Wellens, Mike Teunissen, Michael Matthews, and Nicolas Roche.

| Prudhomme: The Tour de France will not be held ‘behind closed doors’

Amid reports that the French government is considering the possibility of a Tour de France run without spectators or a caravan due to the coronavirus pandemic, race director Christian Prudhomme told Sports Auvergne on Wednesday evening that the Tour “will not take place behind closed doors.”

The ASO has yet to announce its plans for the Tour, with Prudhomme saying that for now it remains on the calendar as scheduled, but noting that “naturally, this will depend on the evolution of the pandemic. In ‘Tour de France,’ the most important thing is ‘France.’ It is the health situation in the country that counts.”

| Gazprom duo out of hospital in UAE

Gazprom-Rusvelo has announced that UAE Tour riders Igor Boev and Dmitry Strakhov, who had been in an Abu Dhabi hospital since testing positive for coronavirus early last month, have finally been discharged “after testing five times negative for coronavirus.”

Boev and Strakhov were, as far as has been reported by teams participating in the UAE Tour, the last two riders still in the hospital due to coronavirus. According to Gazprom, “they are now on quarantine outside the hospital and will wait for the flight back to Russia.”

| Bahrain-McLaren cuts wages, CCC having discussions

Bahrain-McLaren is the latest pro team that has cut its wages due to the coronavirus pandemic, Cyclingnews reports. Riders are reportedly taking a 70 percent pay cut for at least three months, while team manager Rod Ellingworth and senior management will forgo their salaries for the next three months.

The CCC team could apparently also find itself in a similar situation at some point. Rowery reports that the team sponsor, footwear company CCC, may be cutting costs soon, and Greg Van Avermaet said in a video conference with reporters on Thursday that the team is discussing the possibility.

| Socially Speaking

Matteo Trentin has some handy tips for working out while on lockdown.

In case you missed it

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| Inside the weird and wonderful world of the British time trial

Up-and-comer Joe Laverick provides a closer look at the lively British time trial scene.

| EF Gone Racing Live Premier – The Cape Epic that never was

The first episode of EF’s Gone Racing Series for 2020 was meant to follow Lachlan Morton and Alex Howes as they raced the Cape Epic, but obviously things didn’t quite go according to plan.

| FulGaz indoor training app review

Matt de Neef reviews FulGaz, the Australian indoor training app known for its real-world videos of some of cycling’s most famous roads.

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Today’s featured image of Thibaut Pinot on stage 15 of the Tour de France comes from the Grubers.

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