No Tour ‘behind closed doors,’ Sagan awaits clarity: Daily News Digest

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Here’s to another weekend!

The headlines closing out the week brought the typical trickle of Grand Tour-related news as well as some updates on what a few of the pros are up to right about now.

French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu has told radio station RMC that “If things continue to improve in September, major events such as Roland Garros and the Tour de France will take place.” Of particular note, however, was her clarification that the Tour would not take place “behind closed doors,” marking a shift from previous comments in which she suggested that the race might be held without spectators.

In other news, Peter Sagan says he is waiting on the publication of the reshuffled cycling calendar before he makes any decisions about his objectives for 2020—although one race remains a big target, whenever it ends up happening. Sagan told the Corriere della Sera that he remains focused on Milano-Sanremo, a race he has yet to win despite coming close several times.

“La Classicissima” will be something to look forward to, even if one of springtime’s most iconic races happens some time in autumn.

Enjoy the weekend, readers.

What’s news

| French sports minister: No Tour ‘behind closed doors’

Roxana Maracineanu, France’s Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, told RMC on Thursday that the Tour de France won’t be held ‘behind closed doors,’ marking a shift from previous comments in which she suggested the race might be held without spectators. As Maracineanu said, both the Tour and Roland Garros “will only be held if there is authorization to have the public.”

That said, Maracineanu pointed out that should the situation in France improve over the course of the next few months and into September, major events could indeed go ahead as planned. Maracineanu also noted that she is in regular communication with the ASO as authorities and event organizers continue to plan out the months ahead.

| Sagan waits for schedule ‘certainty’ before making goals

Peter Sagan continues to count the days until he can return to training outside. In the meantime, he has spoken with the Corriere della Sera, offering some insight into what he’s thinking at the moment as he waits for more information about how the 2020 season could eventually look.

“Only when I have certainty of the dates of the big laps will I be able to make a program and fix some results to hit. One will certainly be Sanremo, which I have never won,” said Sagan, who had initially targeted a debut appearance at the Giro d’Italia this season.

Now 30, the three-time world champ also touched on the topic of eventually hanging up the wheels, saying he didn’t plan on doing it any time soon.

| Bugno hospitalized

Former cycling pro and current CPA director and professional helicopter pilot Gianni Bugno was hospitalized in Rome after a sudden collapse. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Bugno said that he “fell to the ground like a cooked pear.”

Fortunately, he appears to be recovering now, saying “It was just an illness due to stress, at a rather difficult period, but now it is much better, I had to rest.”

| Piccoli will attempt 100 trips up Mount Royal for charity

Israel Start-Up Nation’s James Piccoli will attempt to make 100 trips up Montreal’s Mount Royal on Saturday for charity. The climb may be best known to WorldTour cycling fans as the decisive ascent of the annual GP Montréal.

Piccoli is taking on the challenge to raise money “to donate much needed masks and sanitary supplies” to Montreal-area hospitals, starting a GoFundMe that has already surged past its initial goal of $6,000.

| France will cover €50 worth of bike repairs per person

As part wide-ranging plans to gradually ease lockdown restrictions, the French government will cover €50 of bike repairs per person by reimbursing bike shops of the costs in a push to promote bikes as a safe form of transportation (and to help ease crowding in subways and buses).

Other cycling-friendly aspects of France’s “deconfinement plan” include provisions for the installation of temporary bike parking spots and the creation of bike lanes in certain places, and even the reimbursement of cycling coaching sessions.

| Moving Pictures

Pro mountain biker Payson McElveen has a new YouTube project aptly named StacheTV, and basketball fans will be familiar with his first guest, one of history’s greatest three-point shooters who also happens to be a huge fan of riding on two wheels.

In case you missed it

| 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.

| Enve’s custom decal program offers a new level of matchy-matchy

As Dave Rome writes, Enve has announced a new custom decal program applicable for its M Series, G Series, SES and Foundation Collection wheels, allowing you to perfectly match your hoops to whatever you desire.

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Today’s featured image of the final sprint at Eschborn-Frankfurt, whose 2020 edition was initially scheduled for Friday, comes from Cor Vos.

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