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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
The wait for the highly anticipated rollout of the UCI’s new WorldTour calendars is over. After weeks of planning, the reshuffled schedules were announced on Tuesday, and there’s certainly plenty to talk about.
Condensing 41 events into only a little over three months, the new men’s and women’s WorldTour calendars feature quite a bit of overlapping racing and not a whole lot of downtime. At the same time, no one can say for certain whether the races will actually go ahead on their planned dates or not right now.
Nonetheless, the move represents an important step forward for the sport, which will now at least have a timetable to plan around, regardless of how optimistic it may seem.
Speaking of important steps forward, the announcement of the new women’s WorldTour calendar featured a surprising inclusion: A women’s Paris-Roubaix has been scheduled for October 25. Should the race ultimately go ahead, it will be the first ever women’s edition of the Monument, which is great news for cycling fans at a time when we could use as much good news as we can get.
Until next time, readers!
| UCI unveils new WorldTour calendars for 2020
The UCI has unveiled its newly reshuffled men’s and women’s WorldTour calendars after weeks of planning and discussions with stakeholders around the sport. The updated schedules released on Tuesday condense 41 races into only a little over three months from August to early November.
Of note from the announcement is the significant amount of overlap that exists among several major races, with several stages of the Giro d’Italia coinciding with early stages of the Vuelta a España, and four of the five Monuments being run at the same time as at least one of the Grand Tours.
You can see the full calendars here.
| ASO will run a women’s Paris-Roubaix for the first time
Tuesday’s unveiling of the new WorldTour calendars also included the surprise news that the ASO will hold a women’s Paris-Roubaix this season for the first time.
The event will run on October 25, the same day as the men’s race, and has been granted WorldTour status in its first year. The creation of a women’s Paris-Roubaix brings the count of Monument Classics with women’s events to three: Now, both of the ASO-run Monuments (the other being Liège-Bastogne-Liège) have women’s events, as does the Tour of Flanders, leaving only Milan-San Remo and Il Lombardia without.
| 2020 Giro set to start in Southern Italy
With the Giro d’Italia planned start in Budapest cancelled for 2020, organizers are currently looking into an alternative location for the opening stages of the event. According to la Repubblica, the RCS is planning to start the race in Southern Italy, with a specific host town still to be announced.
In other Giro-related news, the RCS made a point of voicing at least some frustration with the amount of overlap in the newly unveiled racing calendar in a statement published on Tuesday. “We made a number of alternative proposals which, in our opinion, would have resulted in reduced overlaps among races in the calendar,” read the statement. “These proposals have not been adopted. However, we believe this result is important for the restart, especially at this time, given the dramatic health situation that is affecting all areas of our lives.”
| Gogl and Moolman-Pasio triumph on stage 2 of Tour for All
Tuesday at the Tour for All saw another battle on a lumpy virtual circuit, as competitors battled on Zwift’s Richmond course.
In the men’s race, Michael Gogl proved the fastest finisher of a select group with some serious firepower. After an attack from Gogl’s NTT teammate Michael Valgren came up just short, Gogl bested Greg Van Avermaet and Mathieu van der Poel at the line to get the win.
On the women’s side, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio put in a powerful solo dig in the last kilometer and held on for an impressive win ahead of Lauren Stephens, with Moolman-Pasio’s CCC-Liv teammate Marianne Vos nabbing third. The win is yet another sign that Moolman-Pasio is a force to be reckoned with in the virtual racing world, coming on the heels of some strong showings at the Zwift Classics last month.
| Moving Pictures
The Rally team has been putting out weekly videos offering suggestions on ways to stay healthy even amid widespread lockdowns. If you ever wanted to see Joe Martin Stage Race winner Stephen Bassett and US crit champ Emma White pulling off some unique dance moves supported by ample video editing, this week’s video is for you.
In case you missed it
| The photo that got me kicked off the Tour Down Under for a day
Tim Bardsley-Smith tells the great story behind a photo he took at the 2016 Tour Down Under.
| Watch this Lego shred-sled get built from scratch
If you like seeing sweet (Lego) mountain bikes get put together, you should enjoy this video.
| The Roadmap Episodes: How lockdown is shaping the future of cycling
The first episode of a series of podcasts made in partnership with Rapha includes insight from Ineos’s Dave Brailsford, EF’s Jonathan Vaughters, and Rapha’s Simon Mottram.
Today’s featured image of Fabio Jakobsen battling Sam Bennett at the Vuelta a España – whose 2020 edition has been rescheduled to run from October 20 to November 8 – comes from Cor Vos.