Cancellations, calendar changes, no Tour for Matthews: Daily News Digest

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Hello CyclingTips readers,

We don’t love writing about race cancellations, but unfortunately Wednesday’s headlines were full of them, so here we are.

American fans will have a lot less top-tier bike racing than usual to look forward to for the rest of the season. USA Cycling has cancelled most of its national championship events for 2020, including road, mountain bike, and track nationals, amid coronavirus concerns.

While cyclocross nationals remains on the calendar, American cyclocross fans will nonetheless miss out on the chance to enjoy what was set to be the one American event on the UCI World Cup calendar this season. The UCI unveiled its revised World Cup calendar for 2020 on Wednesday, announcing that planned World Cup rounds in Waterloo, Wisconsin, and Dublin, Ireland, had been cancelled.

Getting away from the topic of cancellations for at least a little bit, Wednesday’s headlines also featured news of Michael Matthews’s program for 2020, which will include the Giro d’Italia, but not the Tour de France. It will be the first time the 2017 green jersey winner has missed the Tour since 2014.

Read on for more …

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news

| USA Cycling cancels most national championship events

USA Cycling announced on Wednesday that elite road, mountain bike, and track nationals, among other national championship events, would not be held in 2020.

The organization has taken its time to make the final decision on whether or not the events would proceed amid the coronavirus pandemic, weighing various options, but the national governing body ultimately decided to call most of them off, saying that “the challenges in conducting safe and fair Nationals are insurmountable.”

| Matthews will race the Giro, miss the Tour

Michael Matthews will miss the Tour de France for the first time since 2014 as he instead heads to the Giro d’Italia this season. His Sunweb team unveiled its plans for the 2020 season on Wednesday, confirming that Matthews’s calendar would feature a trip to the Giro as well as a Milan-San Remo start, but no Tour.

At the moment, Sunweb’s planned Tour squad is composed of Soren Kragh Andersen, Nikias Arndt, Tiesj Benoot, Cees Bol, Marc Hirschi, Joris Nieuwenhuis, Nicholas Roche, and Jasha Sütterlin. A similar lineup will take on most of the Classics.

For the Giro, the team will have Matthews, Nico Denz, Chris Hamilton, Jai Hindley, Wilco Kelderman, Sam Oomen, Casper Pedersen, and Martijn Tusveld.

| Revised Cyclocross World Cup drops events in Waterloo and Dublin

The UCI unveiled a revised cyclocross World Cup calendar on Wednesday, with the count of World Cup events down from the originally planned total of 14 to 11.

The World Cup was initially set to kick off in Waterloo, Wisconsin, at Trek headquarters on October 4, but that event has been scratched for 2020. Also called off was the World Cup round in Dublin, Ireland, originally planned for October 18.

The Zonhoven World Cup, initially planned for October 25 – the same day as Paris-Roubaix, the final stage of the Giro d’Italia, and the sixth stage of the Vuelta a España – has been rescheduled for December 13, replacing the Antwerp round of the World Cup series. As such, the new calendar will get underway on November 1 in Overijse, Belgium.

| Tour of Qinghai Lake cancelled

Organizers have announced the cancellation of the Tour of Qinghai Lake.

The weeklong stage race, which was a part of the UCI ProSeries calendar for this season, had been scheduled to run from July 26 to August 2, but organizers have now decided to call the event off entirely amid coronavirus concerns.

| Social distancing wristbands at the Giro?

In an interview with Tele8, Giro d’Italia director Mauro Vegni mentioned the possibility that the Giro could rely on an unusual strategy to implement social distancing at this year’s race: wristbands.

Apparently, the RCS is looking into wristbands that emit a loud noise when wearers don’t respect social distancing guidelines. It’s an intriguing concept for sure, but one that we don’t have much more information on at the moment. We’ll keep you posted.

| Cycling Tips

Today’s CyclingTip comes from our VeloClub membership coordinator Andy van Bergen, who has some handy and very straightforward advice on how to gear up for chilly days:

If it’s cold outside you should never be warm by the end of your street.

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Today’s featured image of Rafal Majka digging deep on stage 9 of the 2019 Giro d’Italia comes from Kristof Ramon.

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