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UCI announces 2022 women’s WorldTeam calendar, women’s Tour de France
The UCI announced Thursday the preliminary 2022 calendar for women’s WorldTeam events, and it has re-added the Giro to the calendar, as well as replacing La Course by le Tour de France with a women’s Tour de France, set for July 24-31.
In addition, cycling’s governing body will require event organizers to invite the 15 UCI WorldTeams as well as the top two ranked UCI women’s continental teams.
The preliminary calendar with races registered includes:
• Prudential RideLondon Classique, May 27-29
• Itzulia Women, May 13-15
• The Giro d’Italia Donne, July 1-10
• Women’s Tour de France, July 24-31
• Ladies Tour of Norway, August 9-14
• Ceratizit Challenge by la Vuelta, September 8-11
While the Cadel Evan Great Ocean Road Race has registered it does not yet have an exact date at this time.
The UCI also plans for the development and promotion of cycling esports, and plans a race calendar for virtual events. The governing body of cycling also made promises to assure the integrity of competitions (certification of home trainers, increased monitoring of riders’ data, and more), and to create a ranking system for riders.
The UCI also indicated it would continue its fight against technological (motorized) fraud. During the 2021 season, UCI officials will make use of a device that employs backscatter technology. This tech should provide instantaneous images of the interior of bike frames.
Tom Pidcock “lucky” after being hit by car driver in training
Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) is lucky not to have been worse injured after he was hit by a car driver during a training ride in Andorra this week, according to his coach Kurt Bogaerts who was with him at the time.
Pidcock suffered a broken collarbone and had to undergo surgery Wednesday morning due to the incident. He will miss his planned appearance at the Tour de Suisse later this week but his target of riding in the mountain bike event at the Olympic Games should be safe.
“Because with such a heavy impact you never know. He has been lucky all in all. But Tom is positive and is already looking ahead,” Bogaerts told Belgian broadcaster Sporza. “With normal training, he will get ready for the Olympics just as well. It will not be boring anyway, it is now just another road to Tokyo.
“He was riding at a fairly high speed at the start of a descent. We don’t know what exactly happened, but Tom was hit from the side by a car. Due to the impact, he was catapulted over the car. His bicycle partially absorbed the impact and broke into two pieces.”
While Pidcock will miss the Tour de Suisse, he should still get some more racing in ahead of the Olympic Games at the end of July with the MTB World Cup in Les Gets on July 4.
Marc Soler back in action at Tour de Suisse
After crashing out of the Giro d’Italia last month, Marc Soler will return to racing action at the Tour de Suisse this week. Soler will lead Movistar’s title challenge in the hope that he can once again find some good fortune this season.
Soler has had a bumpy season but seemed to be on the comeback trail with a stage win at the Tour de Romandie and some solid performances at the Giro d’Italia. He was sitting just outside the top 10 overall when a crash on stage 12 forced him to quit.
The Tour de Suisse starts Sunday with a string of big names hunting overall victory, including Adam Yates, Jakob Fuglsang, and Rigoberto Urán. Tom Dumoulin is also set to make his racing return after taking a hiatus at the start of the season.
Soler will be joined by Gonzalo Serrano, Iván García Cortina, Sergio Samitier, Héctor Carretero, Johan Jacobs, Juan Diego Alba in Movistar’s line-up.
Israel Start-Up Nation out of five races following COVID-19 positives
Israel Start-Up Nation will pull out of five of its scheduled races for June after three members of staff tested positive for COVID-19.
The cases were uncovered as part of regular testing within the team and will see them skip the Grosser Preis des Kantons Aargau (June 4), Dwars door het Hageland (June 5), Elfstedenronde (June 6), Baloise Belgium Tour (June 9-13), and Adriatica Ionica Race (June 14-18).
“Obviously, we would have liked to line up in these great races, for which the riders have trained hard to do well,” said general manager Kjell Carlström. “However, the health of our staff and riders, as well as safeguarding all other teams, will always come first. We don’t want to take any risk that may jeopardize anyone. In a situation like this, it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
The change in schedule will not impact the Critérium du Dauphiné, where the team is currently in action, and the Tour de Suisse later this week as none of the infected staff were in contact with anyone traveling to those races.