Talk About a Crowded Calendar
(Hopefully) It’s time to grab some popcorn and settle in for a short but intense haul
We’re guessing that when you heard the news of the Olympics being canceled, you took that pretty hard. Though the Olympics are the biggest stage that any athlete can appear, the reality is that they are not all that consequential for cycling.
No, for die-hard bike geeks like us, the collision of depression and heart-ache came when the promoters of the Tour de France also threw in the towel with no word of a replacement date. Sure, the reality of a huge race going off in July with so much unknown was far-fetched. But a summer with no Phil Liggett or Bob Roll?! Talk about being devastated!
RAINBOWS AND UNICORNS
And then it happened. Just when racing fans thought all hope to witness some bar-banging action was lost, the first week of May brought a glimmer of hope when the UCI released a tentative schedule of races that would include La Grande Dame Tour de France, along with a majority of big-name events.
What the normally 10-month-long WorldTour season came down to was a wildly truncated version that stuffed everything from Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a Espana into a four-month micro-season. Below is the full (tentative) schedule, which, for the first time, will include a women’s version of Paris-Roubaix (all events marked with an asterisk [*] include a women’s race).
1: Strade Bianche (Italy)*
5-9: Tour de Pologne
8: Milano-Sanremo (Italy)
12-16: Critérium du Dauphiné (France)
15: Giro Il Lombardia (Italy)
16: Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (Great Britain)
25: Bretagne Classic (France)
29-9/20: Tour de France*
7-14: Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy)
11: Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec (Canada)
13: Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal (Canada)
30: September: La Flèche Wallonne (Belgium)
3-25: Giro d’Italia*
4: Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Belgium)*
10: Amstel Gold Race (the Netherlands)*
11: Gent-Wevelgem (Belgium)*
14: A Travers la Flandre (Belgium)
15-20: Gree – Tour of Guangxi (China)*
18: Tour of Flanders (Belgium)*
20-11/8: Vuelta a España*
21: Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne (Belgium)*
25: Paris-Roubaix (France)*
The Giro di Lombardia, one of road cycling’s five ‘Monument’ races, has been moved forward to August 15 from its traditional October date, the sport’s governing body UCI announced on Friday.
The Italian race, considered the most important of the autumn Classic races, has been shifted to the summer heat as cycling tries to reorganise a 2020 calender turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic. It will now take place just a week after Milan-San Remo, a spring Classic which is usually held in March but has been pushed back to August 8, and two weeks after the first race of cycling’s return, the Strade Bianche in Tuscany.
The new date for the Giro di Lombardia, confirmed in a UCI statement, means it risks missing out on big names as it overlaps with the Criterium du Dauphine, one of the most important preparatory races for the Tour de France, which this year begins on August 29.
It is another move which will anger Italian cycling fans after the Giro d’Italia was shifted to October 3-25, when it will overlap with rival Grand Tour the Vuelta a Espana and three Monuments. The calendar shift comes as the UCI approved a new schedule proposed by the Professional Cycling Council, a body comprised of rider, team and race organiser representatives.
- Tour de France (Aug 29-Sep 20)
- Giro d’Italia (Oct 3-25)
- Vuelta a Espana (Oct 20-Nov 8)
- Criterium du Dauphine (Aug 12-16)
- Tirreno-Adriatico (Sep 7-14)
- Milan-San Remo (Aug 8)
- Giro di Lombardia (Aug 15)
- UCI World Championships in Switzerland (Sep 20-27)
- Liege-Bastogne-Liege (Oct 4)
- Tour of Flanders (Oct 18)
- Paris-Roubaix (Oct 25)
Vuelta announces final 2020 route
The Vuelta a Espana, to be held between October 20 and November 8, will begin in Irun and end in Madrid, according to the final route announced on Friday.
Two Portuguese cities have been withdrawn from the race due to the coronavirus crisis, with Porto and Viseu replaced by Zamora and Salamanca respectively.
The 75th edition of the event, which is one of cycling’s three grand tours, will include 18 stages after the cancellation of the first three stages in the Netherlands.
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini