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UCI confirm 29th August as new start date for Tour de France

New start date announced amongst a number of other measures for restarting racing.
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The race will start in Nice and follow the planned route before finishing in Paris on 20th September, with the UCI announcing further changes to the race calendar.

After weeks of holding onto their original dates, the organiser of the Tour de France, ASO, has today confirmed that the race will run the full three weeks from 29th August to 20th September.

In a press release, the UCI outlined the following:

-The period of suspension of competitions on the UCI International Road Calendar was extended by one month, until 1st July, and until 1st August for UCI WorldTour events.

-The Tour de France is postponed and will take place this year from 29 August to 20 September. Holding this event in the best conditions possible is judged essential given its central place in cycling’s economy and its exposure, in particular for the teams that benefit on this occasion from unparalleled visibility.

-The 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Aigle-Martigny (Switzerland) are maintained at the scheduled dates, 20-27 September. The competition programme does not change.

-The Giro d’Italia will take place after the UCI Worlds and will be followed by the Vuelta Ciclista a España.

-The National Championships, organised by the National Federations, will take place on the weekend of 22-23 August.

-The UEC European Road Championships are maintained.

-The most prestigious one-day road races (the Monuments), ie Milano-Sanremo (Italy), the Tour des Flandres (Belgium), Paris-Roubaix (France), Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Belgium) and Il Lombardia (Italy), will all take place this season, at dates still to be defined.

-As many events as possible on the UCI International Calendar, and notably the UCI WorldTour, will be rescheduled later in the season.

These new dates see a very congested period of racing with a potentially shortened Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana taking place after the World Championships. The five Monuments will all take place, along with as many World Tour events as possible.

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

The staging of the Tour remains subject to the success of measures taken in France to curb the spread of Covid-19. There could still be restrictions on crowds after French President Emmanuel Macron announced an extension to the ban on mass gatherings until mid-July.

Should the race take place, Nice will still host the Grand Depart, with a hilly 170km stage expected to end in a bunch sprint. The race moves quickly to the high mountains, dipping into the Alps before two stages in the Pyrenees.

> Tour de France 2020 route unveiled in Paris (+ flythrough video)

A brief visit to the West coast could provide the opportunity for crosswinds before the race again heads to the mountains with the Massif Central and Alps setting up a penultimate day ITT up the climb of La Planche des Belles Filles. The traditional processional race finish on the Champs Elysees remains.

The race could be one of the most dramatic in history with many riders unsure of their form due to the lack of racing. Combine this with a route that was designed to shake up the general classification and the race for the Maillot Jaune could be more open than ever.

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

The UCI President, David Lapparttient, has already suggested that all five Monuments could be held in late September and October, with the Autumn sun replacing the fresh spring air in Roubaix, Flanders, Sanremo and Liege. The fifth Monument, Il Lombardia looks set to keep its spot as the traditional closing race of the season.

But the new finish of the Tour will clash with the first day of the World Championships which is when the Elite Male TT is scheduled. Many riders will have to make the difficult decision between finishing the biggest race of the year and taking to the TT start line in Aigle, Switzerland.

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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