News

Speculation flying over shape of new calendar

Monuments in August and October, 18-day Giro and Vuelta - the rumor mill churns as races look for dates in new-look cycling season.

Just days after the UCI released its roadmap for the rescheduled 2020 season, the rumor mill is spinning with possible monument dates and reports of an emerging beef between organizers of the Giro d’Italia and the UCI.

The news came Wednesday that the Tour de France would run August 29 – September 20, and the monuments, Giro, and Vuelta to slot-in afterward at dates to be confirmed.

Just 48 hours later, reports are emerging of August calendar slots for Milano-Sanremo (August 9) and Paris-Roubaix (August 16). The three remaining monuments would fit in after the Tour and the Martigny world championships, with Tour of Flanders October 11, Liege-Bastogne-Liege October 18, and Il Lombardia October 31. The report in Het Nieuwsblad also states that major one-day races such as Gent-Wevelgem are waiting to be assigned start dates.

The rumored date of October 11 for De Ronde has also been reported in Sporza, where Flanders Classics boss Tomas Van Den Spiegel discussed the possible slot for his race.

“Everything is very preliminary and there are other possibilities during that period,” Van Den Spiegel said. “I have no problem with October 11, but there are many other people who also have to check the planning before this date can be taken as the truth. In any case, we have to take into account that there will be a double schedule in the new cycling calendar. There will certainly be one-day races during the grand tours. I have no problem with that.”

The rumored late-October classics block could likely clash with the Giro d’Italia, which is slated to run through to-be-confirmed dates that same month. Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that there have been requests that the Italian grand tour to be shortened to free up room for other races elbowing for space in the packed fall period.

Giro bosses Mauro Vegni and Paolo Bellino have hit back at calls request that their race be shortened however.

“It’s the only thing that been talked about for the last two months: how to hurt the Giro, the only real rival that is strong and not allied with the Tour,” Vegni told La Gazzetta.

Vegni’s right-hand man, RCS Manager Bellino said similar.

“I have three goals: organize the Giro, hold the Giro for three weeks, and get all our games on the calendar. When the game calendar officially starts in mid-August, it is unrealistic to think that there will be no overlap,” he said. “The UCI does not help us, but as always I trust that the length of the Giro will not be up for discussion. If not, I consider it a lack of respect. Not only towards the Giro, but towards the whole of Italy.”

The format of the Vuelta a España, due to run at the close of the season, is also up for debate.

The Spanish race was due to start with three stages in the Netherlands, however, that now looks doubtful. Organizers of the Dutch start, La Vuelta Holanda, have raised concerns over reproducing the logistics and administrative processes required later in the year. Separately, La Gazzetta has reported that race-organizers ASO may truncate the Vuelta to 18 stages – tieing in with the possible cancelation of the Dutch start.