Annemiek van Vleuten, Anna van der Breggen and Amanda Spratt on the podium at the 2019 World Championships. Image courtesy of UCI.

The Pro Season Ahead: UCI Release Revised Dates For Grand Tours & World Championships

The Union Cycliste Internationale, the sport’s global governing body, has released their outline of how the remainder of the 2020 season will look.

But the news has largely been met with negativity. Many are saying it is overly optimistic to cram so many major races into the second half of the year and questioning whether France will in fact be ready for mass gatherings by the proposed Tour de France start date in late August.

With the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and a number of major one day races postponed, the UCI along with ASO remain confident and hopeful of the fractured season being pieced back together in the second half of the year.

The key points and proposed dates to save the pro cycling season include –

  •  The period of suspension of competitions on the UCI International Road Calendar has been extended by one month, until 1st July, and until 1st August for UCI WorldTour events.
  • The Tour de France will take place from 29 August until 20 September. The UCI say ‘holding the event in the best conditions possible is judged essential given its central place in cycling’s economy and its exposure, in particular for the teams that benefit on this occasion from unparalleled visibility.’
  • The 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Aigle-Martigny (Switzerland) are maintained at the scheduled dates, 20-27 September. The competition programme does not change.
  • The Giro d’Italia will take place after the UCI Worlds (late September into mid-October.)
  • The Vuelta Ciclista a España will take place after the Giro (late October into mid November.)
  • The National Championships, organised by the National Federations, will take place on the weekend of 22-23 August.
  • One-day classics ie Milano-Sanremo (Italy), the Tour des Flandres (Belgium), Paris-Roubaix (France), Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Belgium) and Il Lombardia (Italy), will all take place in 2020, at dates still to be defined.
  • As many events as possible on the UCI International Calendar will be rescheduled later in the season.
  • The UCI will announce a revised version of the UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar and a new version of the entire UCI International Calendar (men’s and women’s races across all cycling disciplines). This calendar will nevertheless remain dependant on the world health situation.

UCI President David Lappartient said the organisation had established a framework that will allow the fundamental rights of teams’ riders and staff to be preserved.

‘While enabling the measures necessary for the survival of these teams to be taken,” he added. “Together, we will manage to get through this crisis and rebuild cycling post-Covid-19.”

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