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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
As we close in on the end of the week, the headlines from the cycling world include a few updates on the racing calendar as well as some insight from Mikel Landa.
Having joined with Bahrain-McLaren this year, the 30-year-old Spaniard is gearing up for a Grand Tour campaign in 2020 that should see him as the clearcut team leader at the Tour de France for the first time. In an interview with Spanish television network Teledeporte, Landa said that he is feeling “much more mature, physically and mentally” at this point in his career. It will be interesting to see whether that – and his new circumstances after transferring – translate into results on the road.
Meanwhile, the Dutch cycling federation says it will publish guidelines for restarting the national racing calendar there soon after the government announced that some restrictions would be lifted. The potential return of competition by July is big news for racing enthusiasts in the Netherlands; it was initially expected that the calendar would not be restarted until September.
Read on for more …
| Landa feeling ‘much more mature, physically and mentally’
For years, Mikel Landa has shown flashes of immense talent in the Grand Tours while never quite putting everything together. Now in his first season with Bahrain-McLaren, where he is expected to be the clear top option for the squad at the Tour de France, Landa says he is feeling “much more mature, physically and mentally” at this point in his career.
“I feel stronger getting my form and maintaining it, and that’s enormously beneficial,” Landa said in an interview with Teledeporte. “I have arrived at a new team that has given me a huge opportunity.”
Landa is expecting to be back to racing in only a little over at month at the Vuelta a Burgos, with the Critérium du Dauphiné also on his calendar ahead of the Tour de France.
| Dutch cycling calendar to resume earlier than expected
The Dutch cycling federation has announced that it will be publishing guidelines soon for the return of racing there earlier than expected.
The federation had been planning for a possible return of racing in September, but the Dutch government recently announced that it will lift certain restrictions, allowing for an earlier restart of the Dutch cycling calendar, albeit with some safety measures still in place.
| Tour de Yorkshire faces uncertain future
The future of the Tour de Yorkshire is unclear as Welcome to Yorkshire, which organizes the event, is facing financial uncertainty. According to the Yorkshire Post, Welcome to Yorkshire has requested £1.4 million in funding to stay afloat.
The Tour de Yorkshire was scheduled to run in May of this year, but was cancelled amid coronavirus concerns. For now, it remains unclear whether local governments can or will foot the bill to keep the tourism board that runs the race going.
| Kuss talks Grand Tour ambitions
It may be some time yet before Sepp Kuss gets his own opportunities to battle for GC results in the Grand Tours, but the promising American climber has told CiclismoInternacional that he does have GC ambitions for the future.
“Eventually I hope to be a Grand Tour contender,” Kuss told CiclismoInternacional. “Physically, I think I can cope with racing for three weeks and it suits me, but what I need to work on the most is keeping the incredible focus for a whole Grand Tour.
“As a support rider, you can mentally switch off a bit on days that aren’t as crucial, but going for GC it’s a complete different mentality. That’s something I still have to learn, and it’s not normal for me to be nervous all the time, so I would have to do it in a way where I could be a ‘relaxed’ leader.”
| Volta a Portugal postponed
The Volta a Portugal has been postponed without a set date for rescheduling amid concerns from host towns, RTP reports.
According to RTP, it may still be possible that the race goes ahead in 2020, but it is unclear whether that will happen or not.
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Today’s featured image of Jesper Asselman winning stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire comes from Cor Vos.