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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
As a new week gets underway, the already reduced Women’s WorldTour calendar has unfortunately lost yet another event as organizers have announced the cancellation of the Boels Ladies Tour.
The Dutch stage race had been rescheduled for September, but it has now been called off altogether, with organizers saying that it would be “impossible under the current circumstances” to hold the race.
In other news, L’Equipe reports that two Groupama-FDJ riders with coronavirus antibodies have been given “immunity passports” by the UCI. According to L’Equipe, that means that they will not have to undergo the frequent pre-race COVID-19 testing that recent UCI guidelines stipulate.
Read on for more …
| Boels Ladies Tour cancelled for 2020
Organizers announced on Monday that the Boels Ladies Tour has been cancelled for 2020 as events in the Netherlands and Belgium face uncertainty amid continued coronavirus concerns.
Thijs Rondhuis of organizer Courage Events said that new regulations made race organizers in the Netherlands “responsible for guaranteeing social distancing along the entire course.” Although the Boels Ladies Tour had been prepared to implement safety measures at start and finish areas, organizers could not ensure social distancing throughout the route and ultimately decided to call off the race.
| ‘Immunity passports’ for two Groupama-FDJ riders
L’Equipe reports that the UCI has given two Groupama-FDJ riders ‘immunity passports’ after tests revealed that they possessed coronavirus antibodies.
“At the end of June, we did a serological test to find out who in the team had contact with the virus during the pandemic. We had two cases of asymptomatic riders with antibodies, who were infected without showing symptoms,” team doctor Jacky Maillot told L’Equipe.
“The UCI has given them an immunity passport, with no obligation to repeat the virological tests this year.”
| Piccoli extends with Israel Start-Up Nation
James Piccoli will ride on with Israel Start-Up Nation for a further two seasons after signing a contract extension.
The 28-year-old Canadian joined the squad at the start of this season, making the jump up to the WorldTour from the Elevate-KHS team after a strong 2019 season that included the overall win at the Tour of the Gila and a GC podium and stage win at the Tour of Utah, among other notable results.
| Deceuninck-Quick-Step will look to Alaphilippe at Stybar at Strade Bianche
Deceuninck-Quick-Step has unveiled its lineup for Saturday’s Strade Bianche, which will mark the return of WorldTour racing.
The Belgian squad will look to defending champ Julian Alaphilippe and 2015 winner Zdenek Stybar to lead the way, with Kasper Asgreen, Davide Ballerini, Mikkel Honoré, Bob Jungels, and Pieter Serry also set to make the start.
| Oceania Championships cancelled
The Oceania Cycling Confederation (OCC) has announced that the 2020 Oceania Continental Championships for both road and BMX have been cancelled.
“While the Oceania Cycling Confederation are disappointed not to be holding the Oceania Road and BMX Championships this year it was a necessary decision with the health and safety of all Championship participants the priority of the OCC,” OCC President Tracey Gaudry said.
“We express our thanks to Cycling Australia and BMX Australia for exploring every possible option to hold the Championships and look forward to continuing to work with them on future Oceania Championships and other events.”
In case you missed it
| How coronavirus has affected bike racing: An on-the-ground perspective
Reporter Amy Jones and photographer David Powell were at the Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa and the Clasica Femenina Navarra to document the return of racing.
| Pole in the road leads to crash in GP Kranj finale
A pole in the middle of the road led to a crash in the finale of the GP Kranj on Sunday.
| Nic Dlamini is back after the break
As Iain Treloar writes, Nic Dlamini is finally set to race again.
| Freewheeling Podcast: The first races back
In the latest episode of Freewheeling, Abby Mickey and Loren Rowney discuss the return of bike racing and what’s next.
Today’s feature image of an exhausted Wout Van Aert as he collapses to the ground after racing his very first Strade Bianche in 2018 & finishing 3rd (Kristof Ramon)