Giro and Vuelta overlap in revamped UCI World Tour calendar

(Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP) (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

A revamped 2020 UCI World Tour calendar will include an overlapping of the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España, two of cycling’s ‘Grand Tours’.

The UCI, cycling’s world governing body, has released details of the revised calendars for both the UCI World Tour and UCI Women’s World Tour, following approval from its managing committee and the Professional Cycling Council, the stakeholders of men’s professional road cycling.

The Giro d’Italia will now start on October 3 and finish on October 25, while the Vuelta will run from October 20 to November 8.

The Tour de France remains part of the calendar and is scheduled to take place from August 29 to September 20 but there remain serious doubts over the race after the Minister of Sports of France, Roxana Mărăcineanu, told France Télévisions today that there is “no guarantee” that it will go ahead.

This year’s Vuelta has been shortened by one weekend at the requests of organisers Unipublic after the ‘Grand Départ’ in the Dutch city of Utrecht was cancelled as it could not meet the hosting conditions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last year, the Giro d’Italia took place from May 11 to June 2 and the Vuelta was staged from August 24 to September 15. Eurosport, the Discovery-owned pan-European sports broadcaster, holds extensive broadcast rights to both races, along with the Tour de France.

Along with the Giro and the Vuelta, October is also set to feature a string of top one-day races in a congested month for road cycling. Four of the five ‘Monuments’ will be held between October 4 and 31. These are: Liège–Bastogne–Liège on October 4; the Tour of Flanders on October 18; Paris-Roubaix on October 25; and Il Lombardia on October 31.

Meanwhile, the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in the Valais and Vaud cantons of Switzerland will be held from September 20 to 27.

The UCI said today: “After several weeks of discussions and collection of feedback – including from health authorities of concerned countries – the UCI feels it now has enough information to be able, today, to communicate the dates, unanimously approved by the participants of the meetings, of the events on the revised 2020 calendars for the UCI WorldTour and UCI Women’s WorldTour.

“However these dates, crucial for stakeholders, naturally remain subject to the lifting, until the end of the season, of the restrictions relating to the organisation of events put in place by the authorities in the concerned territories. We note that the situation is a changing one, which could mean the UCI may need to adjust the calendar to take into account the development of the pandemic.”

The rejigged women’s calendar comprises 18 events (five stage races and 13 one-day races). Only one event – Australia’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race – was held on the calendar before the Covid-19 pandemic took hold.

Commenting on the calendar alterations, UCI president David Lappartient said today: “We have drawn up a solid, attractive and varied new calendar that is as realistic and coherent as possible. This has been achieved as early as was practicable and in line with information available today concerning the evolution of the pandemic.

“Riders, teams and organisers now have the dates they need to anticipate the resumption of racing on August 1. This is a very important step that the entire cycling community, financially impacted by the pandemic, has been waiting for to move forward.”