News: UCI Calendar Changes

Calendar Changes for postponed events – WorldTour is the priority says UCI boss David Lappartient

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News: UCI Calendar Changes

UCI boss David Lappartient is waiting a while before rearranging the road calendar. A number of races have already been canceled and are hoping for a new date in May, such as the Volta ao Algarve and the Ruta del Sol. “Everyone looks at the calendar as if they are the only ones and almost everyone makes the same choice (for a new date),” Lappartient tells DirectVélo.

“Then you will have weeks with five or six events in a week so we first wait until March to see which events are canceled. Then we decide on a reorganisation of the calendar” he says. “The priority is on the WorldTour races, just like last year”.

“We have taken the position that everything that can be ridden is ridden,” says Lappartient. “The road season had to start. In February, we have several races in France, and also in Spain and the UAE Tour is being raced. But we are watching closely what happens. I have weekly consultations with the UCI road committee and also every two weeks with the CPA, AIGCP and AIOCC.”

“Apart from the United Arab Emirates, travel movements outside Europe will be limited,” says the UCI president. “Most races will be held in Europe. Some countries are almost completely in lockdown, other countries have strict rules. In Belgium, we can race behind closed doors. I was at the Tour of Flanders (2020)  and that worked very well. So the Belgian events  will be fine.”

According to Lappartient, 2021 cannot be compared to 2020, when the entire calendar was shut down from March to August. “Some events still want to continue, so it will be necessary to move them on our full calendar. It is possible to create blocks with multiple events in the same country, in a certain period. Like we did in Italy last year” he says.

Yet there are also problems in the summer as some organizers will not like to be scheduled during the Tour de France and the Olympics. Despite this, Lappartient is optimistic. “I hope that the Tour de France will be the start of a new life. The first half of the year will be difficult. Most countries are engaged in a difficult vaccination campaign and it will also be necessary to closely monitor the evolution of variants.”

Source: DirectVelo

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