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Tour de France

What does a September Tour de France mean for cycling; what now for the Giro, Vuelta and Worlds?

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Egan Bernal au pied de l'Arc-de-Triomphe.

Image credit: Getty Images

ByTom Bennett
15/04/2020 at 11:41 | Updated 15/04/2020 at 12:40
@tommbennett

Eurosport analyse the impact of the decision to reschedule the Tour de France for September due to the coronavirus pandemic and what it means for the 2020 cycling calendar.

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What has been cancelled?

All World Tour cycling has been cancelled until August 1, meaning that none of the Monuments, Giro d'Italia or Tour de France will take place as originally scheduled.

That cancellation also impacts a host of other stage races and one-day events.

What is happening with the Tour de France?

The Tour de France will now start on August 29, running through until September 20. In a statement, the UCI said:

Holding this 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.

There will be no changes to the original route, meaning that the Tour remains three weeks and 21 stages long, starting in Nice and finishing in Paris.

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What about the World Championships?

The UCI confirmed in their statement that:

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.

This means that any riders hoping to compete in the men's time trial at the Worlds will either have to miss the Tour de France or drop out of the race early.

Riders will have one week between the final Tour stage in Paris and the Men's World Road Race; not ideal but manageable.

What about the Giro d'Italia?

No new dates have been confirmed for the 2020 Giro after it was postponed from the original May dates, but the UCI's statement included the following line on the Giro:

The Giro d’Italia will take place after the UCI Worlds.

This means that if it is run in full then the Giro would be held mainly in October, finishing no earlier than October 18, more likely October 25 to prevent overlap with the main World Championship weekend.

And what about the Vuelta?

This news most greatly impacts La Vuelta, which had been due to start on August 14. This race will now be moved to accommodate the Tour de France, with no new dates confirmed as of yet.

Run by the same organisation as the Tour (ASO), the Vuelta seems to have fallen victim to the negotiation tactics, with the UCI saying in their statement on Wednesday that the Vuelta will be held after the Giro, meaning a race running into November.

With much of the planned Vuelta route in northern Spain, including a stage on the Col du Tourmalet, weather would almost certainly impact the race. A shortened Vuelta is a possibility, but...

A shortened Giro or Vuelta?

None of the Grand Tours are currently considering shortening their three-week schedules.

Mauro Vegni, organiser of the Giro d'Italia, told Marca:

They will be 3-3-3, never 3-2-2 or 3-3-2.

And those sentiments have been echoed by Vuelta chief Javier Guillen.

And what about the Monuments?

The UCI also said that all five of the cycling Monuments will still be held in 2020.

That means finding room to reschedule Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, as well as accommodating Il Lombardia in the new Autumn schedule.

How those one-day Classics would fit alongside the Grand Tours is yet to be confirmed.

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