Tour de France under consideration as Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana overlap in new UCI calendar
Tour de France remains on previously announced dates but UCI president expresses doubts over racing 'behind closed doors'
Last Updated: 05/05/20 8:23pm
UCI president David Lappartient has warned there are no guarantees over the Tour de France, as cycling introduces a new calendar to meet the challenges brought up by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana will now overlap in October under a new WorldTour calendar unveiled by cycling's world governing body.
For now, the Tour de France remains on its previously announced dates of August 29 to September 20, while the Giro is scheduled to take place from October 3 to October 25, with a shortened 18-stage Vuelta slated for October 20 to November 8.
"I do believe we are able to have the Tour de France but I can't say I'm 100 per cent sure, that would not be realistic," said Lappartient, who expressed doubts over racing 'behind closed doors'.
"I would say if you invest in cycling, 50 per cent of your investment is around the Tour de France. If we don't have a Tour de France, that could be a disaster.
"We could have said at the end of March, 'the season is closed, let's meet in 2021 at the Tour Down Under'. But we believe this would have been a disaster for our sport. We wanted to save what we can save."
The plan will see racing resume with a men's and women's edition of Italian one-day race Strade Bianche on August 1, with the Vuelta the last race of the season.
The accompanying women's event, the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, would take place from November 6-8.
The men's RideLondon-Surrey Classic retains its previously announced date of August 16.
The Giro Rosa, among the highlights of the women's calendar, will clash with the final week of the Tour de France as it is scheduled for September 11-19, the week before the UCI's own Road World Championships in Aigle-Martigny, Switzerland.
The UCI had originally planned to reveal its revised calendar last week but delayed the announcement after governments across Europe issued fresh guidance with regards to lockdowns.
Priority was given to rescheduling the Grand Tours and the five biggest one-day races, the Monuments, as well as the biggest races on the women's calendar.
The COVID-19 crisis has wreaked havoc on the cycling calendar but female riders were able to celebrate the addition of a new race in 2020.
The first edition of the Paris-Roubaix women's race will be held on October 25, a few hours before the men's race which is famous for its much-feared cobbled sections.