Mitchelton-Scott’s new sponsor, Lombardia rescheduled: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.

We close out the week with some big news on a few different WorldTour fronts.

If you haven’t already seen or heard, Mitchelton-Scott is set for some changes. The team announced on Friday that will be known as Team Manuela Fundación for the remainder of the racing season after having come to a “longterm agreement” with Manuela Fundación, a nascent non-profit based in Spain. Exact terms of the new title sponsorship deal remain unclear at the moment, but the team will have a wholly different look come July.

In other news, the UCI has finally confirmed some rumored revisions to its already revised calendar. The big headline from the Friday announcement made by the governing body is the rescheduling of Il Lombardia, which has been moved up on the revised calendar from October 31 to August 15, putting it one week after Milan-San Remo. That does put it into an overlap situation with the Critérium du Dauphiné, but on the bright side, it gives Italian fans two Monuments on back-to-back weekends, which should be fun viewing indeed.

Read on for more …

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news

| Mitchelton-Scott is becoming Team Manuela Fundación

The Mitchelton-Scott organization will be known as Team Manuela Fundación for the remainder of the season, with new kit to go with its new sponsor starting in July.

Following a handful of media reports over the past few months suggesting financial uncertainty for the Mitchelton-Scott team, with the team making significant cuts in April, the squad apparently found a new title sponsor in Manuela Fundación, a nascent non-profit organization based in Spain that has yet to be officially launched.

Exact terms of the arrangement are not yet known, but the team’s press release suggested that the partnership would extend for multiple years.

| Il Lombardia now set for August 15

After talks with stakeholders and following a meeting of its Management Committee, the UCI confirmed further revisions to its already revised 2020 calendar in a statement on Friday.

The biggest scheduling news from the UCI’s statement is the confirmation of the dates of Italian Monuments Milan-San Remo and Il Lombardia. Despite discussions about possibly moving the race again, Milan-San Remo will indeed take place on August 8 as was initially planned during the reshuffling of the calendar. Meanwhile, Il Lombardia has been moved up to August 15, two and a half months from its prior rescheduled date of October 31. The newly announced revision creates an overlap between Il Lombardia and the Critérium du Dauphiné, but allows the following weekend of August 22-23 to be used for national championship events.

| UCI confirms transition of anti-doping operations from CADF to ITA

Also included in the UCI’s Friday statement was a confirmation of plans to transfer the management of anti-doping activities from the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) to the International Testing Agency (ITA).

The CADF has overseen anti-doping operations for the UCI since 2008, but those duties will be taken over by the ITA on January 1 of 2021. According to the statement, “a unit dedicated to cycling within the ITA, composed of former CADF employees, will take care of the implementation of the UCI’s anti-doping program, with the support and expertise of all departments of the ITA.”

| Vuelta announces challenging pair of stages to replace Portuguese sojourn

The Vuelta a España announced updates to its 2020 route on Friday, providing details on the new-look 15th and 16th stages that will replace what would have been two days of riding in Portugal.

Both of the new routes look to be more challenging than the original stage plans, with a now hillier stage 15 set to be longest day of the race at 234.6 kilometers and stage 16 now featuring a first-category climb 30 kilometers from the finish.

| No Muur at the 2020 Tour of Flanders

Speaking of route changes, Flanders Classics – the organizer of, well, several Classics in Flanders, as you may have guessed – announced a few changes to the 2020 routes of its main events on Friday.

In general, organizers decided to make a few tweaks to shorten the cobbled one-days while keeping the finales mostly intact. Perhaps the most notable change announced Friday is the removal of the Muur van Geraardsbergen from the route of the 2020 Tour of Flanders. While the iconic climb has not featured as prominently in recent editions of the race as in years past, having been moved far earlier in the parcours, it has nonetheless at least been a part of the route—but that won’t be the case in 2020.

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Today’s featured image of riders charging up the Muur van Geraardsbergen at the Tour of Flanders comes from the Grubers.

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