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Three Grand Tours in three months is latest plan for when cycling resumes, starting with Tour de France in August

ASO and RCS Sport have reportedly agreed how to schedule races once lockdown ends

Cycling's three Grand Tours could take place over an arc of just three months depending on when lockdown restrictions are lifted in France, Italy and Spain, with organisers ASO and RCS Sport reported to have reached agreement on how to schedule the races to avoid clashes.

With French President Emmanuel Macron having announced yesterday that no public sporting events can now take place until mid-July at the earliest, it will be impossible for the Tour de France to go ahead on its original dates of 27 June to 19 July.

Last week, it was reported that ASO, owner of the Tour de France and the Vuelta, was working on a contingency plan that would see the French race’s Grand Depart from Nice postponed until 25 July.

> Late July start for Tour de France according to latest reports

However, according to Spanish sports daily Marca, it is now proposed that the race will begin om Sunday 2 August and finish on Tuesday 25 August. The Vuelta would be held in September, while the Giro d’Italia would take place in October.

The director of the Italian Grand Tour, Mauro Vegni, told Marca that under no circumstances were ASO or RCS Sport planning to reduce any of the races from three weeks to two weeks.

Only one of the races, the Vuelta which is due to start in the Netherlands, begins abroad this year, which potentially creates an extra issue for the Spanish race.

The overall aim of the two organisations, however, which are in regular contact with the UCI is to ensure that the Tour de France, the biggest race in the sport, can go ahead, and to have at least one clear week ahead of each of the three races.

A further consideration on that final point is that the calendar will also have to include other races.

The UCI has made it clear that once racing resumes, it wants to prioritise the five Monuments, four of which – Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege – have already been cancelled.

> UCI chief says all five of cycle racing's Monuments could be held in Autumn

Any revised calendar would also have to accommodate the UCI Road Cycling World Championships, scheduled for Aigle-Martigny in Switzerland for 20-27 September, as well as the fifth and final Monument of the year, Il Lombardia, due to take place on Saturday 10 October.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Freddy56 | 4 years ago

Is that Lotto pro still doing back to back gand tours? 90 days racing in a row would be some feat!

Alpine Scrumper | 4 years ago

Keep seeing headlines about the tour and giro etc being postponed to later in the year... Are the organisers stupid or just avoiding the elephant in the room? The whole year is a write off surely? There's no way governments are going to let hundreds of thousands, millions even, of people start whizzing round the world like we used to before a vaccine is widely available. The best we can hope for this year is everyone working from home and maybe a few extra shops opening up no? Talk of ASO currently pushing back the Tour start date by 3 weeks is a joke

Mybike replied to Alpine Scrumper | 4 years ago

I think your right. First thing that need to happen is all goverments need to open there boarders so the riders can even get to the race. And which riders will want to even race at that time

henrypurcell replied to Alpine Scrumper | 4 years ago
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I agree. Planning for any of the three to go ahead this year is delusional. I wouldn't want to bet on next year's Giro going ahead either.

kil0ran replied to Alpine Scrumper | 4 years ago

It's all about kicking the cancellation can down the road for as long as possible. All event organisers are playing a game of chicken with govts and venues - avoiding cancelling in the hope that external events mandate cancellation and therefore insurance potentially pays out. I've got a whole load of concert/festival tickets for the summer for events that have been merely postponed rather than cancelled, or are even on a "wait-and-see" for those in July/August. Are they really going to hold them in the UK in October? I doubt it very much.

ktache replied to kil0ran | 4 years ago

Some of that, very good points.  Also, they have a lot of people working for them whose job is to plan and organise, it's what they do.  They don't want to sit at home doing nothing, a lot of them cannot even go for a ride, might as well try and get something sorted, just in case.

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