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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
The unveiling of the new 2020 road racing calendar left the cycling world with much to think about, and in the wake of the news, familiar names around the sport have weighed in on the schedule ahead.
Plenty of notables have not shied away from pointing out that the plans seem pretty optimistic at the moment, with so many places all over the world still observing various lockdown restrictions. Others have questioned whether the calendars try to squeeze too many events into too little time. The Giro d’Italia, for instance, now comes just two weeks after the Tour and overlaps with several Monuments as well as the Vuelta a España.
All things considered, however, numerous riders have come out saying that it will be nice to have targets on the calendar, even if it’s too early to say whether things will actually pan out as planned.
That’s a sentiment we can understand—we’re looking forward to the racing too, whether it happens according to the newly revised timeline or not.
Until next time, readers!
| Cycling world reacts to revised calendars
Over the past 24 hours, voices around the cycling world have weighed in on the newly released 2020 WorldTour calendars. Some, like, Jonathan Vaughters, have opined that the new plans may be squeeze too many events into too small a timeframe.
“I would concentrate on the most important races and make sure that they were able to run because I think that overreaching is a real risk right now,” Vaughters said, according to Cyclingnews. “To me and most of the teams, we’re going to be pretty happy if we do the Tour de France and two or three of the Monuments.”
Whether they share those concerns or not, others – including Greg Van Avermaet, Annemiek van Vleuten, and Julian Alaphilippe – have said they are happy to at least have objectives on the calendar now.
“There are some doubts and we are not super sure if it will all be organized in the end, but it’s good to have some goals and we can make a plan again to at least be fit at the 1st of August because I’m super excited to race Strade Bianche,” van Vleuten said.
And garnering positive reviews from around the women’s peloton was the news that Paris-Roubaix will finally have a women’s race. As van Vleuten’s teammate Amanda Spratt put it, “It’s the one race the women’s peloton has really been asking for. It’s such an iconic race and I think there’s no reason why we can’t go there and put on a really good show.”
| Evenepoel remains committed to Giro debut
Before a global pandemic dramatically shifted the pro cycling calendar for 2020, Remco Evenepoel had planned on starting the Giro d’Italia this season. Although the calendar has changed since he initially made those plans, the Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider remains committed to riding the Giro, even if it means missing Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which now overlaps with the Italian Grand Tour.
“Remco will ride the Giro this fall,” Deceuninck team manager Patrick Lefevere said on Belgian TV program Extra Time Koers. “We don’t want to deviate from his program in that area.”
| Tour of the Alps cancelled for 2020
The Tour of the Alps will not take place in 2020, organizers have announced. The five-day event, slated to be part of the UCI’s inaugural Pro Series this year, was originally planned to run in April. Organizers called the race off in March with the hope of postponing to a later date, but have now decided to cancel for the year.
“The consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the world of sports have led to a choice with no real alternatives, totally shared with our partners, which we wish to thank for their constant support during this phase,” said Giacomo Santini, president of the race organizing group, in a statement. “People’s health and safety come first, and sports such as cycling have tough challenges to face in this regard. This is why we now wish to set our goal to 2021, in our usual calendar slot in April.”
| Tour for All: Moolman-Pasio and Piccoli shine on stage 3
Stage 3 of the Tour for All offered the first mountaintop finish of the race as the men’s and women’s pelotons both took on Watopia’s Epic KOM climb.
On the men’s side it was James Piccoli who stormed to victory on the virtual ascent, giving Israel Start-Up Nation its second Tour for All stage win in three days. The Canadian relied on his climbing legs and the timely use of a power-up to best Rudy Molard and Valentin Madouas in the finale.
The women’s race gave Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio another opportunity to put her formidable talent on display. The South African national road champ left the field far behind to nab to her second straight stage victory, with Joscelin Lowden topping Ella Harris for runner-up honors 56 seconds later.
| Moving Pictures
If you enjoyed watching Ot Pi having some fun on improvised trials course the other day, you’ll probably enjoy this latest video from Fabio Wibmer.
In case you missed it
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As James Huang writes, Hutchinson has a new gravel tire, the Touareg.
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Today’s featured image of Annemiek van Vleuten at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad comes from Cor Vos.