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VN news ticker: Bora-Hansgrohe out of E3 Saxo Classic, 2023 Tour de France to start from Bilbao, Spain

Here's what's making headlines on Friday, March 26.

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Bora-Hansgrohe did not start today’s E3 Saxo Classic.

Matthew Walls tested positive for COVID-19 and a follow-up test confirmed the initial result.

The remainder of the team all produced negative COVID-19 PCR test results, however, the Belgian Cycling Federation disallowed the entire squad from taking part in today’s race.

Peter Sagan was not scheduled to start this cobbled event as the three-time world champion is currently racing the Volta a Catalunya.

The 2023 Tour de France will roll from Bilbao, Spain.

2023 Tour de France Grand Départ from Bilbao, Spain

ASO announced Friday that the 2023 Tour de France will roll from the Spanish city of Bilbao on Saturday, July 1, 2023.

This will be only the second time in history which the Tour has started from Spain.

The Tour will be recognizing the top Spanish performers over the years, including five-time Tour winner Miguel Indurain who lives in nearby Navarra.

One-third of the 21 Spanish stage-winners at Tour hail from the Basque region, including Mikel Landa who was fourth overall in 2017 and 2020.

Stages 1 and 2 of the 2023 tour will start and finish in Bilbao, while stage 3 will roll from the Basque country for the Tour’s 120th anniversary celebration.

The Ever Given is blocking water traffic in both directions in the Suez Canal. Photo: Robert Schwemmer/CC

Ever Given grounding in Suez Canal could further impact bike supply chain

The super-sized Ever Given cargo ship which ran aground in the Suez Canal Wednesday and blocked passage for other traffic could further contribute to delays in the cycling industry supply chain reports PinkBike.

Estimates point to upwards of $9 billion lost per day due to the stoppage.

More than 12 percent of all global shipping traffic navigates the passage between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea which also provides the most direct route between Asia and Europe.

The Ever Given weighs about 200,000 metric tons and has a capacity of nearly 20,000 shipping containers, making it one of the largest container ships in the world.

Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reported that the pipeline for the materials necessary for the fabrication of bikes — as well as the finished goods — has been stressed by the pandemic and the greatest demand for sporting goods since the 1970s.

Even before the ship’s grounding, there were concerns about supply chain disruptions and historic demand.

“Best current estimates are that the market will be this way into the 2023 model cycle at a minimum,” wrote Kendall Young.

The BBC reported that Egypt reopened the Canal’s older channel to allow traffic to be diverted until the Evergreen can be freed.

Currently, there is no timeline to free the grounded cargo ship which is blocking traffic in both directions of travel in the Canal.