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Season Relaunch In Tuscany
The 2020 WorldTour season resumes on August 1st for both the men and the women in Siena, Italy. Strade Bianche is traditionally held in March, but in 2020 it will be contested in the Tuscan summer heat. This year's edition will be one of the most anticipated bike races in recent memory, and the conditions should be dusty, dry and oh so picturesque.
Strade Bianche is an opportunity for Kasia Niewiadoma to finally conquer her white whale. Niewiadoma finished in second place in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In 2019, Niewiadoma was once again on the podium with a third place finish.
The women are set to race their usual 136 kilometer course and all the stars should be in attendance for the season reopener.
La Course Kicks Off Le Tour de France
La Course by le Tour de France will be held on August 29th, the opening day of the Tour de France. The women will complete two laps of a circuit beginning and ending in Nice for a grand total of 96 kilometers.
The route’s main feature is the ascent of the Category 3 Cote de Rimiez. The climb is 5.8 kilometers long at a 5.1 percent gradient. The ascent begins essentially at kilometer zero on the circuit and continues to climb well beyond the KOM line, so it should prove to be a significant obstacle.
Just like the women, the men will tackle the same circuit in Nice two times before heading out for a slightly longer third and final lap to complete the opening stage of the Tour de France.
Giro Rosa Will Ready Italy For Their Grand Tour
The biggest race in women’s cycling will be held from September 11th-19th. The Giro Rosa remains the longest race on the Women's WorldTour, but in 2020 it has been reduced by one stage. While the men complete the second half of Tour de France, the women will race their Giro d’Italia.
The women's Giro should serve as a testing ground for the Italian race organizers to hone their health and safety protocols ahead of the men’s Giro d’Italia the following month.
Paris-Roubaix, A Historic First
The biggest news of the 2020 Women’s WorldTour calendar is the inclusion of Paris-Roubaix. For the first time in history, the women will race on the cobbles of the Hell of the North. The women will race the monument on October 25, the same day as the men.
Details about the course have not yet been made available.
La Vuelta Builds On The Madrid Challenge
The 2020 Women’s WorldTour concludes with the Cerazit Madrid Challenge, a race that has been slowly gaining momentum since its inception in 2015. The race is organized by, and run alongside the Vuelta a España.
Will The American Women Be Able To Race?
In total, the women are slated to compete in 16 remaining WWT races in 2020, four of which are stage races. Before the racing resumes, American women have been faced with the added challenge of travel bans, which have recently barred Americans from traveling to Europe.
Unlike the American men who spend the vast majority of the year in Europe, women from the states do not generally need to apply for European residency to complete their season. In 2020, without an established residency, many American women may not be able to join their European teammates on the start line this year.
Lauren Stephens of Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank flew to the UK this week, and with the hope of entering Italy after a two-week quarantine period in time for Strade Bianche. If her plan works, other riders may follow suit.