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The Coronavirus is causing cyclists to squeeze the brakes, but what will the 2020 calendar look like when the races resume? FloBikes replans the calendar, giving priority to the grand tours and monuments, and cutting some others.
Though it is spring, days are running out to reschedule all COVID-19 cancelled races to the late summer and fall. The UCI governing body said that it would give its big races priority, but even still, they lack space to maneuver.
Complicating matters, it is the Olympic year. Assuming The Games go ahead in Tokyo, the governing body and race organizers have even less room to shift events.
RCS Sport, out of the big organisers, has been hardest hit so far. It had to scrub Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo, and it's big cash-cow, the Giro d'Italia.
Tom Van Damme, president of the UCI road commission, told Het Nieuwsblad, "If RCS Sport wishes to replace one of its races with another, I do not see a problem. But it seems impossible to make everyone race in November. Even the last weekend in October seems late to close the season. You can extend the season by a week, or even two weeks if necessary, but you can't do it indefinitely. Moving all the races from spring to fall is utopian."
So what do the organizers and the UCI do?
Here, FloBikes attempts to do the work for them. We cut the fat from the UCI schedule and repositioned the big races that have already been postponed: The Giro d'Italia and the four monuments—Milano-Sanremo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège
The Giro d'Italia
The Giro d'Italia has two options, running in June for two to two and a half weeks or at the end of the season for a week and a half. The June option depends on how quickly the COVID-19 situation clears in Italy, and may be optimistic. If the situation improves, the race could run from June 3 to 21, staying only in Italy and in safe zones.
Assuming the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de Suisse run, the Giro would overlap them. It would also end one week before the Tour de France starts on June 27.
The Giro's second and safer option is running from October 14 to 25, a week-and-a-half, after Lombardia. This would extend an Italian period of races with Strade Bianche and Milano-Sanremo.
The Olympic Road Race runs on July 25. Our plan would be to have the Tour of Flanders on Sunday afterwards, August 2, and Paris-Roubaix the week after, August 9. It would leave one week to go before the Vuelta a España.
The Ardennes monuments would fall after the Vuelta in September. The Amstel Gold Race would overlap with the GP Montreal. The Flèche Wallonne would fall on Wednesday September 17 and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, September 20.
This would leave two weeks before a trio of Italian races: Milano-Sanremo on October 3, Strade Bianche on October 7, and Lombardia on its original date of October 10. The Giro could fall afterwards.
It is a massive reshuffle, but creates some interesting scenarios, like Monuments bookending the Vuelta and an Italian span of races.
Smaller races will have to pay. The WorldTour, to ease the strain, could cut the EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, the Bretagne Classic - Ouest-France, and the BinckBank Tour.
Canceled races like the Tour de Romandie and País Vasco would not be given a new date, and instead wait for 2021. We could also see HC-level races fall away, like Milano-Torino, to make way for the big events.