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 organizations, 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 finalized, 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. »