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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
We’ve seen plenty of speculation in recent weeks about what the 2020 racing season might look like once it gets back underway. We’ve heard different dates for the Grand Tours from different media outlets, and there’s been plenty of speculation about the Monuments too. Well, today there’s another forecast for the return to racing and it could just be the most probable yet.
Spanish sports newspaper AS has reportedly seen a proposal for the rest of the season’s calendar; a calendar that sees the Giro and the shortened Vuelta clash, and several of the biggest one-day races held during the Grand Tours.
We should find out this week whether what AS has seen is the UCI’s actual calendar, or whether it’s just another possible plan in a sea of attempts to bring some structure to These Uncertain Times. Rest assured that when the official calendar is finally released, we’ll have all the details for you.
Until next time!
| Leaked WorldTour calendar suggests Grand Tour, Monument clashes
Spanish newspaper AS has revealed what it believes is a “probable” calendar for the remaining men’s WorldTour season.
The proposed calendar sees the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana overlap by most of a week, and sees three of the season’s five Monuments held during the Grand Tours. The calendar seen by AS is as follows:
August 1: Strade Bianche
August 8: Milan-San Remo
August 29-September 20: Tour de France
October 3-25: Giro d’Italia
October 4: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
October 18: Tour of Flanders
October 20-November 8: Vuelta a España (shortened by three days)
November 1: Paris-Roubaix
November 14: Il Lombardia
This calendar is as-yet unconfirmed by the UCI. The governing body is expected to announce the official calendar on Tuesday.
| Pros in Spain are now allowed to train outside
After being forced to stay inside for much of the past two months, Spanish residents are finally able to head outside for exercise. That’s reason to celebrate for the many pro cyclists who live in the country, including the many expats based in Girona.
Cyclists are only allowed out at certain times of day, and must ride solo. Still, the relaxing of lockdown restrictions will surely be a boon for those pros who have been confined to indoor riding since March 15.
| Pros tackle Everesting
Speaking of riders who have spent plenty of time indoors lately, several pros have been putting in super-long rides on the trainer, ticking off ‘Everestings’ from the comfort of their own homes.
Mark Cavendish and Luke Rowe Everested Alpe du Zwift over the weekend, spending roughly 10.5 hours and 211 km riding enough laps to notch up 8,848 metres of climbing (the height of Everest). In a tweet after the ride, Cavendish wrote “I take my hat off to anyone who’s completed it in whatever capacity, it was grim.”
In recent weeks former pro Greg Henderson, last year’s Giro d’Italia KOM winner Giulio Ciccone and Australian NRS racer Emily Watts have all conquered Virtual Everestings as well.
And then there’s Canadian James Piccoli who rode well beyond the height of Mt. Everest – a total of 12,605 metres – in completing 100 ascents of Montreal’s Mont-Royal climb (outdoors) this past weekend. During his effort the Israel Start-Up Nation rider raised more than $15,000 for health workers on the frontline in the battle against coronavirus.
| Chris Froome concerned about Tour de France crowds
Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome has questioned the logistics of preventing large crowds from attending this year’s Tour.
In an Instagram Live chat with former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen, Froome said: “In theory, we can put the race on but I think the bigger question is would the organisers be able to keep people from actually coming out and gathering in large crowds? I think that’s the bigger question.”
The French government recently said that no mass gatherings will be allowed before September, but that the Tour could still go ahead on its new dates – August 29 to September 20 – if the opening days are managed properly.
France’s Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Roxana Maracineanu said Thursday that the race wouldn’t be held “behind closed doors” and that the event “will only be held if there is authorization to have the public.”
| Moving Pictures
Aussie WorldTour team Mitchelton-Scott has seemingly embraced the TikTok social video platform in recent times. Luke Durbridge and his wife Lara posted this fun video a little while back, and Jess Allen offered this entertaining clip over the weekend … with the help of some backup dancers.
In case you missed it
| All hope on the Zoncolan
In this gripping first-hand account, David Guitto recounts climbing Monte Zoncolan, one of the toughest ascents in the world of cycling.
| A more realistic indoor ride: How to build a rocker plate for your trainer
At a time when so many of us are spending hours on the trainer, Andy van Bergen has a handy guide to building a rocker plate.
Today’s feature image comes from the 2001 Ruta del Solo and shows then-German champion Rolf Aldag.