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Worlds time trial set to clash with close of Tour de France

Several worlds time trial contenders ruled out by Tour clash; 2021 Grand Départ under scrutiny due to Olympic overlap.

The confirmation last week that the 2020 world championships are due to remain in their original Swiss venue will have come as a boon for many favoring its challenging road race parcours.

However, many top time trialists will be seeing their rainbow jersey hopes put on hold for a year. Dutch outlet Wielerflits has reported that the UCI will not be changing its schedule for the week of competition in Aigle Martigny, with the men’s elite time trial set to take place September 20 – the same day that the Tour de France wraps up in Paris.

Many of the Tour’s top stars, including powerful time trialists and GC contenders Tom Dumoulin, Chris Froome and Primoz Roglic, will see their rainbow jersey hopes go up in smoke as they instead look to pick up a yellow jersey for their wardrobe.

This year’s worlds, now set for September 20 – 27, kick off on the opening Sunday with the men’s time trial. There had been initial rumor that the organizing committee would move the men’s time trial to the middle of the week to cater for the Tour dates. However, Wielerflits reports that the original schedule is now being maintained. Wielerflits also claims that Team Jumbo-Visma will not be releasing their time trial talents from the Tour squad, thus impacting 2017 worlds winner Dumoulin, multiple world champion Tony Martin, and 2017 worlds runner-up Roglic.

Reigning world champion Rohan Dennis and 2019 runner-up Remco Evenepoel are both due to skip the Tour in favor of the Giro d’Italia, and so will be free to line up on the start ramp in Switzerland September 20.

2021 Grand Départ dates in question

The dates of the Danish Grand Départ of the 2021 Tour de France are currently under review.

Tour organizers ASO are pushing to bring their race forward to prevent a clash with the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics. The 2021 Tour is due to kick off with three days in Denmark, July 2 – 4, and come to a close three weeks later in Paris July 25. However, the postponed Tokyo Games are due to run July 23 – August 8: a three-day clash.

“I can confirm that we have received a request from the Tour de France management that they would like to discuss the contract they have with us for the dates when the Tour should start in Denmark,” said Frank Jensen, Mayor of Copenhagen and member of the Grand Départ organizing committee.

July is set to be a busy month for Denmark, which also hosts the rearranged European Football Championships June 11 – July 11. The tournament was postponed from this summer due to coronavirus. Despite still being one year away, Danish authorities see problems in advancing their Grand Départ next summer.

“Our response to ASO is that we receive your message, and we already want to inform you that we are seeing some challenges by moving around on the dates,” Jensen told DR.dk. “Now that we have mastered the football and set it on a date-basis, it obviously presents big problems if the dates have to be moved around.”