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Cycling News April 20, 2020

2020 Tour de France

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, ASO, the organizers of the Tour de France, have officially postponed the 2020 event to August 29 to September 20, 2020. This move – among others – creates a jam-packed calendar for fall 2020, although no less can be expected with so many spring and summer events being forced to move. The UCI Road World Championships in Aigle-Martigny, Switzerland are set for September 20-27, leaving little-to-no turnaround time for riders planning on finishing the Tour. 

Revised 2020 Race Schedule

While new dates for the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España have yet to be released, it has been said that these events will take place after the World Championships, and may even continue into November. More events will be packed into this fall-heavy calendar, including the one-day Classics of Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia. 

A revised version of the UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar is set to be announced by May 15, along with a revised UCI international calendar. Disappointingly, while the men’s calendar has been rearranged and new dates have been announced, La Course does not have a confirmed date for September 2020, although ASO stated that it will occur during the rescheduled Tour de France. 

The women’s WorldTour has already taken a massive hit, with a long list of cancelled races which includes: Strade Bianche, Bevrijdingsronde van Drenthe, Trofeo Alfredo Binda, Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne, Gent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders, the Ardennes Classics, Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, Tour of Chongming Island, and the Women’s Tour.

US Pro Road Tour

Among the latest race cancellations is the Saint Francis Tulsa Tough, which was scheduled for June 12-14. Organizers said that all efforts will be made to hold the race again in 2021. Tulsa Tough joins the list of cancelled PRT races which includes Redlands Bicycle Classic, Tour of the Gila and Rochester Twilight Criterium. In brighter news, a number of PRT races have only been postponed: the Joe Martin Stage Race, Alabama Cycling Classic, Wilmington Grand Prix and Winston-Salem Classic.

Fundraising Rides

Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) raised £325,000 for the UK’s National Health Service this past week during three consecutive days of riding 12 hours on his home trainer. By the end, Thomas had ridden over 1000 km in the 36 hours. Afterwards, Thomas said, “The amazing thing has been raising so much money, it’s insane. I thought £50,000 was a good target but someone in the team thought we should aim for the stars and go for £100,000. To triple that is fantastic.”

Willie Smit (Burgos-BH) also took on a 1000 kilometer trainer ride, but he was able to complete it in one go. Smit went without sleep and only took occasional breaks while knocking out the massive effort on Zwift. His efforts helped raise funds for the South African cycling federation.

Retired professional cyclist Molly Weaver rode more than 130 km in her own backyard on Saturday in an event she called the ‘Dirty Weaver’ (resemblent of ‘The Dirty Reiver’ gravel race which was cancelled this year). Weaver rode over 1000 laps of her course in 12 hours through grass, gravel, and on tarmac. In the end, she blew her £2500 fundraising goal out of the water, in the end raising more than £9000 for the Women’s Aid Federation of England, a national charity working to end domestic violence. 

Emma Grant (Twenty20) completed an “Everest” of Mount Lemmon in Tucson, Arizona this past week, climbing over 8848 m (29,029 ft) in 15 hours on the epic desert climb. Grant combined her attempt with a fundraising effort for No Kid Hungry – “a national campaign run by Share Our Strength, a nonprofit working to solve problems of hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world” – in the end raising over $7000 and counting. 

Upcoming Races

The Zwift Classics series continues with the Watopia Cup this Tuesday at 7 p.m. BST / 2 p.m. EDT. Rounding out the series is the Crit City Slam this Saturday, April 25. Top riders will toe the virtual line from SEG Racing, Ribble-Weldtite, Hagens Berman Axeon, NTT, Canyon-DHB, Canyon-SRAM and Twenty20. Races will be live-streamed on multiple platforms, including Zwift’s official YouTube page. 

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