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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
Less than four months out from the initially scheduled dates for Road Worlds, it’s still not entirely clear where the event will happen (assuming it goes ahead at all).
Although the Swiss towns of Aigle and Martigny are officially set to host the UCI Road World Championships this September, recent media reports have suggested that Worlds could be moved to the Middle East over coronavirus concerns.
This week’s headlines have, at the very least, offered some updated information on the subject, if not actually providing clarity. At least according to a report in L’Equipe, organizers are expecting Switzerland to host Worlds after all.
That said, the Swiss government is planning to keep restrictions on large gatherings in place until at least the end of August, so it may be some time yet before any firm decisions are made.
We’ll keep an eye on the situation.
| Worlds uncertainty
While Road Worlds is officially scheduled to run from September 20 to 27 in Switzerland, uncertainty abounds over the venue after a few weeks of reports that the UCI could move Worlds to an alternate location (such as Qatar or Abu Dhabi) due to lockdown restrictions in Switzerland.
A report in L’Equipe this week has provided an update on the situation, albeit without really clearing things up. According to the French newspaper, officials are expecting Worlds to go ahead in Switzerland as planned. After a government meeting on Wednesday to review lockdown restrictions, however, a ban on mass gatherings is still set to remain in place there until at least the end of August.
In other words, we may be waiting a while yet for any real answer on whether Worlds will take place at the foot of the Alps or on the Arabian Peninsula.
| Groenewegen still on track for Giro debut
At the start of 2020, Dylan Groenewegen was planning to make his Giro d’Italia debut and also start the Vuelta a España later in the season, but now that the races overlap on the UCI’s revised calendar, the Dutch speedster may have some decisions to make.
According to Jumbo-Visma head of performance Mathieu Heijboer, Groenewegen is currently putting his focus on the Giro. Heijboer told Eurosport’s Kop over Kop podcast that Groenewegen will move forward with making his debut in the Italian Grand Tour, saying, “It seems that he will race the Giro and not the Vuelta.”
| Démare has surgery
In other sprinter news, Arnaud Démare has undergone surgery to repair a fractured left scaphoid. The former Milan-San Remo winner suffered the injury in a mountain bike crash 12 days ago.
In a post on Facebook, Démare said he should be recovered in time for the planned resumption of racing in August.
| Albasini puts off retirement
Michael Albasini had planned on retiring in June at this year’s Tour de Suisse, but with his home race called off for 2020, Albasini has decided to race on until the end of the year.
In a press release, his Mitchelton-Scott team said that Albasini will work with sports director Matt White to draw up a new race program to close out his final season. In the meantime, he is also planning to ride a personal Tour de Suisse, taking on eight stages on their original planned dates with his family supporting him in a camper van along the way.
| Socially Speaking
Jolanda Neff may be on to something with this new cross-training routine.
In case you missed it
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| Cannondale Topstone Carbon Lefty review: Suspension makes it better
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| The beer Remco didn’t drink
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| Pete Stetina is calling from a phone booth over the Pacific. Will you answer?
Pete Stetina has some insight to share on how and why left the pro road peloton to become a privateer—and what that means.
Today’s featured image of Annemiek van Vleuten en route to victory at Yorkshire Worlds comes from Kristof Ramon.