The UCI is currently in the middle of stitching together a revised WorldTour season that will require three grand tours, the monuments, and a host of stage races and other one-day races to be shoe-horned into a four-month period.
According to Spanish news outlet AS, the calendar expected to be released Tuesday will see the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España overlapping each other, with the Tour of Flanders, Paris Roubaix, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege all falling in the middle of the grand tours.
The leaked calendar has the season kickoff August 1 on the white roads of Strade Bianche, with Milano-Sanremo coming the following weekend. The Tour de France will run August 29-September 20, as previously confirmed.
A stacked October is where the clashes and overlaps begin. The Giro and Vuelta are set to butt heads, with the Italian race finishing October 25, and the Vuelta starting its 18-day race five days earlier, October 20.
Versatile riders strong in both the grand tours and one-day races are set for some difficult decisions, with the potential calendar showing Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Tour of Flanders both falling within the three weeks slated for the Giro. The final major clash of the calendar reported by AS sees Paris-Roubaix fall in the middle of the Vuelta a España.
The leaked schedule also includes August dates for Tour of Poland and Critérium du Dauphiné, and shows Italian race Tirreno-Adriatico being staged in the middle of the Tour de France, running September 8-14.
Whether the dates reported by AS on Sunday hold true or not, the schedule does serve to highlight just how much of a puzzle UCI boss David Lappartient has in front of him. And if there is clashing grand tours and monuments overlapping stage races when the 2020 season is published on Tuesday May 5, riders are going to have some serious soul-seeking to refine their goal races in a truly unprecedented racing year.
The key dates from a calendar seen by AS:
- August 1: Strade Bianche
- August 8: Milano-Sanremo
- August 29-September 20: Tour de France
- October 3-25: Giro d’Italia
- October 4: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
- October 18: Tour of Flanders
- October 20-November 8: Vuelta a España
- November 1: Paris Roubaix
- November 14: Giro di Lombardia