2020 Tour de France in August – Top Story. But what about all the other races? We hear from the riders and teams about the return to racing. Chris Froome 100%, Marc Madiot and Patrick Lefevere talk about corona, Greg Van Avermaet to race for more years, Mads Pedersen want’s to show his jersey, Catalunya 2020, Giro and Bianchi together, another year for Tim Wellens, Johan Bruyneel talks Contador, Alé and Movistar jersey, ToAD20 update and Giro Legends ride virtual Giro stage for charity. Keep healthy!
TOP STORY: French President Macron forces Tour de France to postpone
The Tour de France will definitely not start on June 27 in Nice. French President Emmanuel Macron has banned all events until mid-July.
Macron announced on Monday that the corona measures in France will remain in effect until at least May 11, adding that major public events – such as sports events and music festivals – are prohibited until mid-July. The Tour de France was planned from June 27 to July 19, but this plan can finally be forgotten.
Tour de France 2020: 29th August to 20th September
Following the President’s address on Monday evening, where large-scale events were banned in France until mid-July as a part of the fight against the spread of COVID-19, the organisers of the Tour de France, in agreement with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), have decided to postpone the Tour de France to Saturday 29th August to Sunday 20th September 2020.
Initially scheduled to take place from the 27th June to the 19th July, the Tour de France will follow the same route, with no changes, from Nice to Paris.
Over the last few weeks, there has been constant communication between riders, teams, the organisers as well as other relevant third parties all with the support of the UCI, who are responsible for arranging a new global cycling schedule, in which the Tour de France takes pride of place.
The organisers of the Tour de France are in regular contact with and have reached agreement with all of the different parties involved, from the local communities to the public authorities.
The women’s event, La Course by le Tour de France avec FDJ, which was initially scheduled to take place on the 19th July on the Champs Elysées, will also be postponed to a date that is still to be determined, but it will take place during the Tour de France 2020. Equally, the 30th edition of the Etape du Tour cyclosportive, originally schedule to take place on the 5th July, will be postponed to a date yet to be determined.
We would like to thank all of cycling’s stakeholders, the Tour de France’s partners, its broadcasters as well as all of the local authorities for their reactivity and their support. We all hope that the 2020 Tour de France will help to turn the page on the difficult period that we are currently experiencing.
Tour de France 2020 stages (according to Le Daupiné Libéré):
Sat. August 29 – Stage 1: Nice – Nice (170 km)
Sun. August 30 – Stage 2: Nice – Nice (190 km)
Mon. August 31 – Stage 3: Nice – Sisteron (198 km)
Tues. September 1 – Stage 4: Sisteron – Orcières-Merlette (157 km)
Wed. September 2 – Stage 5: Gap – Privas (183 km)
Thurs. September 3 – Stage 6: Le Teil – Mont Aigoual (191 km)
Fri. September 4 – Stage 7: Millau – Lavaur (168 km)
Sat. September 5 – Stage 8: Cazères-sur-Garonne – Loudenvielle (140 km)
Sun. September 6 – Stage 9: Pau – Laruns (154 km)
Mon. September 7 – Rest day
Tues. September 8 – Stage 10: Île D’Oléron – Île de Ré (170 km)
Wed. September 9 – Stage 11: Châtelaillon-Plage – Poitiers (167 km)
Thurs. September 10 – Stage 12: Chauvigny – Sarran (218 km)
Fri. September 11 – Stage 13: Châtel-Guyon – Puy Mary (191 km)
Sat. September 12 – Stage 14: Clermont Ferrand – Lyon (197 km)
Sun. September 13 – Stage 15: Lyon – Grand Colombier (175 km)
Mon. September 14 – Rest day
Tues. September 15 – Stage 16: La Tour-du-Pin – Villard-de-Lans (164 km)
Wed. September 16 – Stage 17: Grenoble – Méribel (168 km)
Thurs. September 17 – Stage 18: Méribel – La Roche-sur-Foron (168 km)
Fri. September 18– Stage 19: Bourg-en-Bresse – Champagnole (160 km)
Sat. September 19 – Stage 20: Lure – La Planche des Belles Filles (mountain time trial) (36 km)
Sun. September 20 – Stage 21: Mantes-la-Jolie – Paris (122 km).
Tour in August, Vuelta in September, Giro in October?
So, the 2020 Tour de France will not start on June 27. Marca wrote on Tuesday that the three Grand Tours have come to a pact: “Tour in August, Vuelta in September, Giro in October.”
The Spanish sportspaper Marca says it has sources close to the calendar makers and knows that “the three Grand Tours have come to a pact.” Which means “the Tour de France is now scheduled in the first three weeks of August, the Vuelta a España in September and the Giro d’Italia in October. At least if the coronavirus doesn’t throw a spanner in the works, of course.”
Allegedly Marca knows even more: “The three Grand Tours will not give up any stages. They will all last three weeks on the new calendar. There will also be at least a week between the end of one Grand Tour and the beginning of the next.”
October Giro d’Italia:
Will La Vuelta’20 Still Start in Holland?
The Dutch organiser of the Vuelta start have heard nothing concrete from the UCI about a possible relocation of the Vuelta a España. La Vuelta Holanda still plans on the Dutch Vuelta start on 14, 15 and 16 of August. “Of course we also hear those reports about displacement from the media. But the UCI has not yet let us know anything concrete,” Annelieke Dijkstra of La Vuelta Holanda told BN De Stem. “Until then, we can think of and write out all kinds of scenarios, but that makes no sense. We just wait.”
“The Tour and the Vuelta could also still take place next to each other. The new cycling calendar should appear in mid-May. But I suspect that there will be clarity before that date,” said Dijkstra. “We are not blind to the current situation, but we would be crazy if we would do everything right now as long as we do not have clarity.”
The 75th edition of the Vuelta a España was planned to start on Friday August 14 in Utrecht, followed by two stages; Den Bosch-Utrecht and Breda-Breda. The Vuelta would then return to Spain.
“We cannot give a definite answer yet, but we saw nothing in an overlap with the Tour,” said Vuelta boss Javier Guillén in an interview with Ciclo21. “We will now have to shift, but we cannot currently say when the Vuelta will take place. We also do not yet know when the Giro is planned.” The Spaniard is happy with the decisive action of the UCI. “I have to thank the UCI and the Tour organisation. They quickly put together an alternative calendar.”
The question is whether it is still feasible to start La Vuelta in the Netherlands. “There are a lot of factors involved. What other events are there at the time? How much police deployment is available? Those kinds of questions,” said Martijn van Hulsteijn on behalf of the organising committee La Vuelta Holanda.
Remco Evenepoel Looking to Put Together a 2020 Program
Remco Evenepoel is pleased that the UCI has come up with a new calendar. This means that the Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider can make plans again. “I will now have to put together a program with the team,” Evenepoel said on the team website.
“I am happy that there is now a plan, even if we still have to wait a few months,” said Evenepoel, who will focus on the World time trial championships. “Of course I will now have to talk to the team. We will come with a program. It looks better now. It is nice to see that all historical events continue.”
Evenepoel was not the only rider of the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team to respond to the news. Julian Alaphilippe, who wore the Tour yellow jersey for two weeks last year, is looking at the new calendar with satisfaction. “I see that competitions like the Tour, the World championships and the Monuments continue. There is light at the end of the tunnel. That is good for morale, an extra push to train even harder.”
Team boss Patrick Lefevere also sheds light on the UCI’s plans. “I am happy that we now have more or less a calendar with all major events. Some other races are likely to take place in early August, giving riders the chance to start the Tour in good shape. The latter is also very important.”
Evenepoel looking forward to starting the season again:
2020 Tour de France Dates Confirmed
NTT Pro Cycling has welcomed today’s announcement by the organisers of the Tour de France (A.S.O.) that the iconic race is to take place from 29 August – 20 September. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, our team have cast our attention to supporting and expressing our solidarity to those all affected around the world and formulated the ‘Be Moved’ initiative.
At the same time our performance team have been working hard with our riders in following carefully structured programmes, using a variety of formats, to ensure that we are as well prepared as possible once racing does resume.
Douglas Ryder, Team Principal: “We are really, really excited about the announcement in the news today. Our team has worked this year incredibly hard in the pre-season to build up to 2020 and we started really well, and now through this pandemic, which has been incredibly sad and taken the world by storm, our team is still working incredibly hard. The riders are motivated and training; and very focused on getting back into the season once it starts, which we hope will be sooner rather than later. It’s fantastic to have the Tour de France have revealed their dates. It gives us a massive amount of motivation and a goal to aim for.
This will be NTT Pro Cycling’s sixth Tour de France; we’ve won seven stages in the previous five Tours starting with the iconic Mandela Day stage win on the 18th of July 2015 with Steve Cummings. We as a team are incredibly proud and looking forward to racing the world’s biggest cycling event, albeit a bit later. We are very excited about what this means for cycling, our team and our partners going forward into the second part of the season. Our team does use its success to do good, to motivate and try and get people onto bicycles through the Qhubeka Charity. That’s even more critical now in terms of our partners supporting Qhubeka so that we can mobilise healthcare workers and spotters to cover more ground and test as many people as possible in communities (in South Africa) so that we can flatten the curve of this pandemic. It’s quite exciting what we’re doing with Qhubeka and we look forward to doing many more things with them. The Tour de France is a massive platform for us to showcase what this team is all about and that we are moving this continent and South Africa forward on Qhubeka bicycles.”
Edvald Boasson Hagen: “It’s great that the A.S.O. has confirmed the dates for the Tour, it’s nice now to have a specific target to train for. I’ve been training very well in preparing for the races to come but now it makes even more sense and I’m looking forward to some racing.”
Edvald Boasson Hagen:
“The new UCI calendar offers new cheerful perspectives”
This Wednesday, the UCI communicated new dates for the international cycling calendar which was disrupted by the global health crisis Covid-19. Competition is suspended at least until 1st of July, with the World Tour events not taking place before 1st of August. These dates add clarity to the cycling calendar which will be very busy during summer and the beginning of autumn. The national championships will take place on August 22nd and 23rd, one week before the Tour de France, with the monuments waiting to be accorded to a date on the international calendar. The classics Milan – San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris – Roubaix, Liège – Bastogne – Liège and Il Lombardia should be contested at the end of the season, although the UCI will only publish a definitive calendar on May 15th.
Like all professional sportive organisations, Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans is happy with this announcement from the UCI, clarifying the programme for the upcoming months and weeks. All riders of the Belgian UCI Pro Team are currently in lockdown, but the majority of the athletes is still allowed to train outdoors following the local government regulations, except for the residents of France (Jérémy Bellicaud, Fabien Doubey and Yoann Offredo), Spain (Maurits Lammertink and Andrea Pasqualon) and Italy (Simone Petilli). All riders continue racing on the virtual courses of the classics together with the general public, on the virtual platform BKool. Jean-François Bourlart, general manager of Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans, took note of the new provisional programme.
Jean-François Bourlart (General Manager Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans): “We’ve been living for several weeks in anticipation of the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic. I’m attentively following this unprecedented crisis since the start, and we took adequate measures to protect our staff members and riders. All team members are isolated with their family members, making this long period mentally bearable. Luckily, most of our riders, in Belgium, in the Netherlands or in Norway, are still allowed to train outdoors on the road, limiting the psychological burden, even if it is not easy for high level athletes to loose their goals from one day to another.”
“In this way, I’m very positive about today’s announcement from the UCI. Health stays a priority, and better sanitary conditions are necessary before we can start considering returning to racing. But for the first time, we can start thinking about the restart of the competition. I want to thank our partners, who are affected by this crisis just like the global economy, for their maintained confidence and their simple gestures showing their involvement in the battle against the coronavirus.”
“I’m looking forward to the monuments and most important races of the international calendar, which are essential for our sport and a team of our rank. This avoids a white season and cleaner deadlines make it possible for everyone to find their motivation back. Once the calendar will be finalised, the sportive direction will set goals for all riders, because the road calendar will be very busy from the beginning of August to the end of October. Not to forget the start of the cyclo cross season with Tormans Cyclo Cross Team.”
2020 season back on track:
“Extraordinary momentum to move ahead”
Vincent Lavenu: “The Tour will be an important moment in social and sporting life. We will arrive at the start with our best assets and a very likely duo of Romain Bardet and Pierre Latour. We are not starting from scratch, since our riders are training and they are in constant contact with the coaches and sport directors of the AG2R LA MONDIALE team. Even though the Tour will not take place in July, we hope that when the race passes through the villages, the teachers will still allow the students the opportunity to see the riders go past. The fans will certainly miss it, but the excitement and all the Tour represents will certainly offer an extraordinary momentum to move ahead. With the UEFA Euro 2020 and the Olympic Games being postponed, this will certainly be the biggest sporting event organised this year. At the moment, most of our riders are training on the turbo at home, often using connected software platforms, which allows them to find each other and ride together. It’s not the same or as nice as going out on the road, but I am not worried about their preparation for the Tour. We hope that among the postponed events, the Critérium du Dauphiné will serve as a springboard before the Tour. The calendar will be packed over the last three months of the year. We will organise the racing schedule for each rider. It will be intense, perhaps, but we will adapt. We now have the benchmarks that allow us to move forward.”
Pierre Latour: “If the Tour starts at the end of August, this will mean that the current situation in France and more generally in the world, will have improved. We have not had the opportunity to train on the road for four weeks, but that is not very important compared to what is currently happening in hospitals. I’m glad that the cycling season can start again, if it can make people smile and think about something else, that’s all that matters.”
Since 2014, the AG2R LA MONDIALE team has won one of the official classifications of the Tour de France and has stepped on the final podium in Paris seven times.
2014: Second place for Jean-Christophe Péraud; Best Team Classification
2015: Romain Bardet, Most Aggressive Rider
2016: Second place for Romain Bardet
2017: Third place for Romain Bardet
2018: Pierre Latour Best Young Rider
2019: Romain Bardet King of the Mountains
AG2R-La Mondiale – Tour on the horizon:
Chris Froome Can Train at 100% Again
Chris Froome back to full training. After Froome’s serious injury last year in the Criterium du Dauphiné, he can now fully train again. “It is going very well,” said Froome.
Everyone could see that Froome could push out the high Watts in the Team Ineos eRace on Sunday. The four-time Tour de France winner climbed with his teammates on the fictional Alpe du Zwift, a 12 kilometre copy of the Alpe d’Huez.
“Now I am as good as before. I do special exercises for the right side of my body, but I can put myself under a full load during training,” he said after the event on Zwift. Froome finished at 2:33 behind teammate, World time trial champion, Rohan Dennis.
Froome is currently preparing to resume the cycling season in his home town of Monaco. “I often train on the rollers, I do fitness exercises or I work with the children. Sometimes we get on each other’s nerves, but we get through it.”
Froome back to full training:
Marc Madiot Thinks that French Riders Must be Allowed to Train Outside
Marc Madiot, team manager of Groupama-FdJ, has commented on the final postponement of the Tour de France. “It is good that we can start planning gradually,” said Madiot. He hopes that the French riders will soon be able to train outside again so that the gap with other countries is not too high.
“It is good. We now have data,” said Madiot in Le Parisien in response to French President Macron’s speech extending the lockdown, postponing the Tour. “We can start planning gradually. I firmly believe in a restart of the season. You have to live in hope.” Madiot is afraid that the French will have to start the Tour with a handicap. “If I start somewhere with my team, I also want to win. The foreign riders can train outside today. The French riders cannot. They risk being on the sidelines for two months and that is a major disadvantage.”
“We have to send a note to the government about this,” Madiot continues, hoping they will give dispensations for professional athletes. “Two months on the side-lines, that for me comes down to ten weeks of preparation between resuming the real training sessions and the start of the Tour. We would also have to contest a race at least a month in advance – if necessary behind closed doors – if we want to show up well in the Tour.”
Marc Madiot, reading all about it:
Patrick Lefevere is Not Looking for Opportunities
Every crisis also offers extra opportunities. It is no different in cycling. But Patrick Lefevere says he is not interested. “I don’t wish anyone the bad. What is happening now at CCC, for example, could happen to me in four months.”
“Sorry for the end-of-contract guys, but who is going to talk about transfers? There is one who has dared to call me already. But as a team you don’t even know if you will exist next year,” the Deceuninck – Quick-Step boss said in an interview on De Tribune on Radio 1 when asked if the corona crisis also offers opportunities.
“I definitely don’t want this kind of opportunity. First and foremost I look at the riders who are at the end of my contract. I’ve always said I never kick people when they are down. Do I not think of Greg Van Avermaet? I don’t think about anything, frankly. I try to save my energy for the times when it is necessary.”
Lefevere says he is concerned about his own boys who are at the end of the contract. “Last year, 18 of the 25 riders were at the end of their contracts. That was a tough year. Now just a few. But I have to deal with it. Iljo Keisse for example; 37 years old and his core business is in the beginning of the year. Dries Devenyns too. And leaders like Yves Lampaert and Bob Jungels. We will see what the market does. The market will determine what happens.”
Oliver Naesen, friend of Van Avermaet, is also at the end of his contract with AG2R-La Mondiale, “I read an interview with Naesen three months ago and I saw another conversation during the corona crisis. He has completely changed his mind. It is about keeping what you have.”
Patrick Lefevere in better times:
Greg Van Avermaet Wants to Continue for a Few More Years
Greg Van Avermaet is not thinking about quitting yet. The CCC leader will turn 35 next month and will see important races disappear, but he thinks the crisis will extend rather than shorten his career.
“I am at an age which I can still perform at the top and there may be a number of years to go, but at the age of 35 it is a pity to lose a year. This situation may stretch my career a bit,” he told Sporza.
Van Avermaet still likes to ride the bike: “Once that is gone, I will stop cycling very quickly. I can’t put a number on it yet. An age to quit has never been in my head. I can’t go on for 10 more years, but definitely a few more years.”
His CCC team has been in the news in recent weeks because the sponsor is struggling with financial problems and the riders have to take a cut in salaries. “Handing money back is no problem for our team at the moment,” says Van Avermaet. “This is about survival. The staff of the team has been fired and it is also difficult for the riders. We are negotiating how to proceed and how to reach the end of the year.”
Although he indicates that a solution is being sought. “We have to find a compromise, but it’s not easy. Everyone is suffering from the situation. Given the circumstances, I don’t think you have to play hard.”
Van Avermaet would have been at the start of the Tour de France this year. “I hope the spring classics will still be ridden and maybe with the Tour in our legs. Racing the Tour would be good for everyone. Then the economic aspect would also fall back into the fold. Racing the Tour or not will have a major impact. The publicity of the Tour is unbeatable. If the Tour drops out, we will speak of a lost year.”
Van Avermaet in the Tour:
Mads Pedersen Can’t Show his Rainbow Jersey
Mads Pedersen, the World champion, wants to show his jersey in his favourite classics, but it’s just not possible. “Obviously this is unfortunate, but there are more important things at the moment.”
Paris-Roubaix is by far Mads favourite Classic: “I would have enjoyed that day so much. The build-up went via the Tour Down Under, the Belgian opening weekend and Paris-Nice. I was not yet top in the Omloop and Kuurne, but I took an important step forward in Paris-Nice. I really wanted to be my best in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. It’s a shame it didn’t go through, but there are more important things in life right now than wearing my jersey in a bike race.”
“It is important that the Tour is still run,” Pedersen thinks. “For cycling, for the teams, for the sponsors. Yes, if necessary without an audience. Of course that is not the same, but currently nothing in the world is the same. It is economically important. We need to be able to race and publicise our sponsors, even if only on TV.” In addition, he hopes that the Monuments will also have a place on the autumn calendar. “Maybe I’ll be the first rider to win Paris-Roubaix in September. In any case, I will be ready. In Denmark, cycling is still allowed outside, unlike some other countries. I mainly maintain the condition, without too much intensity.”
The World champion in Kuurne:
Tour of Catalonia Hopes the 2020 Race Will Go Ahead
The Tour of Catalonia hopes that the race can still be held in 2020. Race director Rubèn Peris told the Spanish sportspaper Mundo Deportivo. The Spanish stage race was on the calendar from March 23 to 29, but was canceled due to the corona virus.
“The situation is getting more complicated every day. The calendar is already very tight,” said course director Rubèn Peris. “It’s going to be difficult, but I won’t throw in the towel. The door is not closed yet.” A possible move to 2021 would cost the event a lot of money, as there is no insurance for this kind of thing.
The UCI has as yet suspended all races until June 1. When the season resumes, the scheduled races, Grand Tours and Monuments are given priority. After Easter, the organisation will have another meeting with the UCI, to see if the 100th edition can be held in 2020 or in 2021. Peris excludes a move to the summer. “It does not work. Catalonia is a holiday area.”
Although he hopes that his race can still be held this year, the race director puts everything in perspective. “The most important thing now is to win the fight against the corona virus and fight the pandemic, so that people who have lost their jobs can recover. The Volta is important, but other things are more important. You have to be supportive, not just think about the Volta.”
Catalunya 2019: Miguel Angel Lopez wins stage 4:
Bianchi Becomes the Official Bike of the Giro d’Italia
The prestigious Italian bicycle brand signs a three year agreement with the Corsa Rosa until 2022, as Bianchi also becomes the official partner of several other RCS Sport events
The world of cycling continues to press on as RCS Sport today announces an agreement reached with Bianchi that will see the renowned Italian cycling brand become the official bicycle manufacturer of the Corsa Rosa alongside several other RCS Sport events.
The three-year agreement between Bianchi and RCS Sport includes a number of important fixtures on the WorldTour calendar. Along with the Giro d’Italia, Bianchi is also the official sponsor of the UAE Tour, the only WorldTour stage race held in the United Arab Emirates, Il Lombardia, ‘the race of the fallen leaves’ and one of cycling’s five Monuments, as well as the amateur sportive, the Gran Fondo Il Lombardia. From 2021, the partnership will be further enriched by the addition of the WorldTour race Strade Bianche. As part of the agreement with RCS Sport, Bianchi will supply the bikes for the neutral service operated by Shimano during the race.
The agreement also incorporates Bianchi’s collaboration with the Giro-E, a key event for the manufacturer. The bicycle brand is the official partner of the event with Bianchi Lif-E, cycling’s very first electric intelligence mobility programme. The deal will see Bianchi supply the Giro-E with its Aria e-road carbon model. Bianchi will also be official sponsor of the Giro d’Italia Virtual, taking place from 18 April to 10 May, a new event that gives professionals and amateurs alike the chance to ride the best stages of the Giro d’Italia 2020 from home.
Today’s announcement brings together the toughest race in the world’s most beautiful place and the historic Bianchi brand, operating since 1885. Bianchi is associated with some of the biggest names in the history of cycling such as Fausto Coppi, Marco Pantani and today’s number 1 UCI Ranked team, Primoz Roglic’s Team Jumbo-Visma.
A Bike for the Renaissance: Aria – Bianco Italia
As the Giro presents all that is beautiful about Italy to the world, Bianchi is proud to release the all new Aria – Bianco Italia. It is an exclusive and limited edition of the Aria in clean ‘frost white’ with the Italian tricolore inserted on the chain stay and purple-turning-green inserts.
The new Aria – Bianco Italia edition is for those who never stop dreaming and celebrates the launch of the Giro d’Italia Virtual. It is available on the Bianchi official e-store (bianchi.com/aria) for a limited period of time, 15 April – 10 May.
The CEO and General Manager of RCS Sport, Paolo Bellino, underlined how: “Launching this partnership today, in this moment of uncertainty, is an indication of how we are already planning for the future. I am very happy about this agreement with Bianchi, an Italian brand, from Milan, like our group, which has become synonymous with ‘Made in Italy’ and quality that is renowned all over the world. The history of Bianchi is the history of cycling, as are our events. Coppi, Gimondi and Pantani are some of the great names in the history of the sport and of the Giro, that immediately bring to mind Bianchi bicycles – the same bikes that are used by some of today’s great riders like Roglic. I am sure that this collaboration will be successful for both of our companies.”
Salvatore Grimaldi, owner of Bianchi and Cavaliere del Lavoro, said: “This partnership between Bianchi and the Giro is a dream come true. At this dramatic and important moment around the world, we felt the time was right to reach this agreement – because now more than ever, the people of Italy and those around the world need a reason to dream, a way of looking forward to the coming rebirth. It is a historic deal between two big Italian names, both born in Milan and able to export the best of Italy through one of the most exciting and popular sports in the world, cycling.”
Fabrizio Scalzotto, CEO of Bianchi, said: “We believe that the bicycle – used both for racing and non-competitively – will be fundamental to the resumption of normal life after Covid-19. The Giro is more than a bike race, it is a cultural phenomenon, it is a shared piece of human heritage. That’s why we have decided to announce our collaboration now, when Italy needs a reason to get back in the saddle.”
Bianchi and Cycling
Bianchi is the world’s oldest and most prestigious bicycle brand. Bianchi’s heritage, over 130 years strong, which started in Milan in 1885 with Edoardo Bianchi, is unequalled in the sport of cycling. Bianchi’s positioning embodies the best of what Italy can offer to the world: a commitment to build products as artisans “a regola d’arte”, as well as distinguishing design, style and taste.
Bianchi believes the frame is the heart of the bicycle and constantly invests in material technology with the aim to produce the best bikes in the world.
The brand offers to the market a complete range of models for Road, MTB, City-fitness, e-Bikes and accessories to meet the needs of all cyclists. All frames are designed and developed inside the Bianchi headquarters in Italy, as are all graphics and colours combinations.
With its Reparto Corse (Racing Department), Bianchi continues to lead the way with race proven geometry and technology and is the proud sponsor and innovation partner of Team Jumbo-Visma.
Paolo Bellino and Fabrizio Scalzotto closed the deal, announced today, towards the end of February at the offices of La Gazzetta dello Sport:
Tim Wellens With Lotto Soudal Till the End of 2021
Tim Wellens will stay with Lotto Soudal until the end of 2021. Apparently, last year a secret option was included in his contract. At the end of April 2018, Wellens extended his contract with the Belgian WorldTour team for two years, so that he would race with them up to the 31st of December 2020. This is the same date the contracts with Lotto (the Belgian National Lottery), Soudal and G&V Energy Group, the three main sponsors of the team, would also end.
Het Laatste Nieuws knew that Wellens had a clause in his contract. When the main sponsors extended their commitments, the Monaco-based rider’s agreement would also be extended by one year, which happened last summer. The partners officially extended until the end of 2022, upon which Wellens’ built-in clause automatically came into effect.
Wellens and De Gendt with the 2020 jersey:
No Conspiracy Against Contador
Johan Bruyneel has commented on Alberto Contador’s statements on the rivalry with Lance Armstrong in the 2009 Tour de France. “It is true that the two had no easy relationship. But there has never been a conspiracy against Contador.”
In a conversation with the Spanish YouTuber Valentí Sanjuan that Contador looked back on that particular Tour de France. A Tour in which the tension and rivalry between Contador and Armstrong came to a climax. Contador talked about an echelon stage, in which he ended up in a second group, but his team mates in the first group – with Armstrong – continued to ride at full gas, even though Contador was the designated leader.
“Yes, I gave permission to Popovych, Zubeldia and Armstrong to continue pushing,” Bruyneel responded in a podcast with El Leñero. “While Klöden and Contador were in the second group. That may not have been comfortable with Alberto. But every team manager would have done the same. After all, there was no threat to our rankings at the front.”
Bruyneel does not deny that there were tensions within the team. Although, according to him, all of this should not be presented as dramatically as Contador has. “I saw from the beginning that the two had no easy relationship. Lance wanted to win the Tour, but Contador was our trump card. That’s what I told Lance. ‘We’ll see,’ he replied.” Bruyneel also said that he does not appreciate Contador’s statements: “I didn’t like the tone he used. I am not happy with the interview he gave.”
Nothing to see here:
Alé and Movistar Team Launch the Project: “Let’s Design the Champions’ Jersey”
Alé and Movistar Team are inviting all fans to design the jersey that the Movistar Team will wear in the first UCI race after the end of the COVID-19. The jersey, made by Alé, will then be auctioned and the proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross and the Italian Civil Defence. With Alé and the Movistar Team: #SeguimosConectados.
Cycling has taught us to never give up, to fall and recover, to get up on the pedals when the climb seems infinite and we no longer feel energy. Cycling has taught us that if a teammate is in difficulty, a push on the back is the most welcome help, especially if the climb is steep and the top seems far away.
Alé Cycling and Movistar Team have thought about how to give “this push”, metaphorically speaking of course, and the idea that came out adapts to these quarantine times.
Alé and Movistar Team invite all fans to design a special jersey: the official Movistar Team jersey, a unique piece that will be worn by the team during the first UCI race on the calendar, after the end of the quarantine.
After the event, with the signing of all the team’s athletes, the jerseys will be auctioned and the entire proceeds will be donated to help those who, every day, are fighting against this emergency: on behalf of the Movistar Team, funds will be sent to the Red Cross while Alé will support the Italian Civil Defence.
The contest is open to all fans and will run from 13 April to 26 April 2020. It will be promoted through the social networks of Alé and the team. To join the initiative just go to the Alé website and download the pattern. Fans can colour it by taking care not to cover or colour the logos. Afterwards they should share their work in a post on social media (hashtag #SeguimosConectados and “tag” @Alecyclingofficial @movistar_team).
Votes will take place in two different steps. In the first phase, at the discretion of Alé stylists and Movistar Team designers, a first tranche of 6 jerseys will be chosen; in the second phase the six jerseys will be published on the Instagram profiles of Alé Cycling and Movistar Team and everyone will be able to vote for the winner.
The jersey with the most votes will be the winning one and will be published on the social channels @Alecyclingofficial and @movistar_team with the indication of the name of the winner, who will receive one jersey as a prize.
More info at: www.alecycling.com
ToAD 2020 UPDATE
We first want to thank everyone for taking the time to complete our survey. We received more than 850 responses and were thrilled that an overwhelming majority of you remain excited, optimistic and interested in racing ToAD in 2020. We can’t thank you enough for your continued support.
During these unprecedented times, the health and safety of everyone involved with our race series is most important.
We have decided that the best decision is to reschedule our 2020 series from a June 18th start date to the first week of August, with possible race dates of July 30-August 9th. (All depending on host city availability).
While we expect to have a few cities who are unable to host us this year, we remain committed to providing a world class race experience for participants and know the remaining 2020 venues can’t wait to welcome racers to their communities.
As we have all discovered during this pandemic, COVID-19 continues to dictate timelines, but for now this is our plan. Should future developments mandate further decision making, we pledge to keep all of you informed. Please be patient as we update our website and social media platforms.
WISHING EVERYONE GOOD HEALTH
Giro d’Italia Legends: Enthusiasts and Ex-Pros Cycle Virtual Giro Stage as Italian Red Cross Fundraiser Continues Until 10 May – Matteo Montaguti the Fastest Among the Legends.
Easter Sunday saw some of the sport’s greatest names, including Mario Cipollini, Gianni Bugno, Ivan Basso, Claudio Chiappucci and Alessandro Ballan, take to the virtual roads of stage 9 of 2020’s Corsa Rosa to ride the Giro d’Italia Legends ahead of the launch of the Giro d’Italia Virtual on Saturday 18 April. Fundraising for the Italian Red Cross will continue until the event’s end on 10 May, visit www.retedeldono.it/giro to donate.
On Easter Sunday, a host of ex-professional cycling greats participated in the Giro d’Italia Legends, cycling the final kilometres of stage 9 of the Giro to Vieste from home. Whether pedalling the 37.4km virtual stage or simply offering messages of support and encouragement through social media, ex-pros and enthusiasts alike worked towards the common goal of raising funds for the Italian Red Cross via www.retedeldono.it/giro.
The ex-pro participants, riding alongside amateur cyclists from all over the world, included: Mario Cipollini, Gianni Bugno, Francesco Moser, Giuseppe Saronni, Claudio Chiappucci, Davide Cassani, Stefano Garzelli, Maurizio Fondriest, Alessandro Ballan, Andrea Tafi, Michele Bartoli, Daniele Bennati, Stefano Allocchio, Alessandro Bertolini, Riccardo Magrini, Matteo Montaguti, Francesco Chicchi, Mario Scirea, Marco Velo and Alberto Volpi.
Mario Cipollini, the Giro’s stage win record holder and one of the event’s founders, said: “I told myself that the world of cycling needed to make a strong and concrete contribution to the fight against coronavirus. Speaking with fellow ex-pros, we came up with the idea of organising a virtual ride together. Working with La Gazzetta dello Sport and RCS Sport, we quickly realised that there was a real opportunity to organise a structured and effective project that would make a real difference against this ‘invisible enemy’. So, the Giro d’Italia Legends took place on Easter Sunday. Some of us cycled and some of us contributed with messages of support through social media, with the aim of raising funds for the Italian Red Cross – an organisation that has always been at the forefront of the fight against the virus. The Italian cycling calendar has been affected by the virus, and so we felt that it was time for cycling to do something during this period, to give back.”
Fundraising for the Italian Red Cross in Partnership with Rete del Dono
RCS Sport is promoting a fundraising initiative in aid of the Italian Red Cross, accepting donations via the Rete del Dono giving portal, available at www.retedeldono.it/giro. Donations made via the portal until 10 May will enable the humanitarian organisation to continue working at the front line of the Covid-19 emergency, offering first responder aid, virus screening and psychological and logistical support amongst other vitally important activities in the fight against the epidemic. The fundraising campaign has been made possible by Rete del Dono – a longstanding partner of RCS Sport and notable coordinator of numerous successful sporting charity programs, including the Milano Marathon and Gran Fondo Strade Bianche. In the last few weeks alone, Rete del Dono has activated more than 70 fundraising campaigns aimed at battling the Covid-19 emergency.
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