Vanmarcke hopeful to see northern classics held in fall

Cobbles veteran Vanmarcke hopes to see season goals Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix raced later in the year.

The Summer Classics just doesn’t roll off the tongue, does it?

At least that’s what Sep Vanmarcke says. If the northern classics are going to be rescheduled, it’s better during the brisk air of the fall than the heat of summer.

“I think it makes most sense if the monuments are raced in autumn, because to me classics don’t fit in the summer,” Vanmarcke told VeloNews. “That’s more for stage races. Important one-day races always happen in the spring and autumn. In that last period there is Lombardia, worlds …”

So why not slot the missed cobblestoned classics into the fall? That’s how it could well be lining up.

As officials are trying to revive cycling before the year is out, rescheduling canceled monuments such as Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix are paramount.

Behind the scenes, officials are building a roadmap for a new-look calendar. Nothing is confirmed, but one scenario has the Tour de France starting in late July, followed by the Vuelta a España. It’s likely the missing one-days will be slotted in before and after the worlds, with the Giro d’Italia rounding out the season.

“As of what we hear now from the UCI, they want to make sure the monuments still take place this season,” Vanmarcke said. “So I hope and think it will happen. Of course I was disappointed [with cancelations], but world health is most important now, so I could accept the situation.”

For Vanmarcke, 31, this week’s “Holy Week” was supposed to be his season peak. Twice third on the Flanders podium, second at Paris-Roubaix in 2013, and fourth a further three times, the EF Pro Cycling classics specialist was hoping for a big spring.

“Flanders was one of my main goals, together with Paris-Roubaix,” he said. “For me it’s the most important period of the season. Being already twice on the podium of Tour of Flanders was really special. Now I’m hoping to do it again in the next editions. Winning would be a dream come true.”

Vanmarcke still might get his chance — this fall.