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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, March 7, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. - Epictetus

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Tirenno-Adriatico & Milano-San Remo postponed

Here are the announcements from race organizer RCS Sport:

06 March 2020
TIRRENO-ADRIATICO POSTPONED FROM ITS ORIGINAL DATES

Tirreno Adriatico

Following the confirmation by the relevant authorities that they are unable to grant appropriate authorisations, RCS Sport announces that the cycling race Tirreno-Adriatico, scheduled for 11-17 March is cancelled from its original dates.

Furthermore, as the appropriate authorities have verified that suitable conditions do not exist for them to be unable to guarantee the provisions of the DPCM (Decreto del Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri della Repubblica Italiana – Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic) on 4 March 2020, and to guarantee the safeguarding of public health and the safety of all the people involved, RCS Sport has made the decision to cancel Milan-Sanremo, scheduled for 21 March, and Il Giro di Sicilia, scheduled for 1-4 April.

RCS Sport will request the UCI, via the Italian Cycling Federation, to allocate new dates on the international cycling calendar for the three races, as has already been requested for Strade Bianche and Strade Bianche Women Elite.

06 March 2020
MILANO-SANREMO POSTPONED FROM ITS ORIGINAL DATE

Milano-San Remo

Following the confirmation by the relevant authorities that they are unable to grant appropriate authorisations, RCS Sport announces that the cycling race Milano-Sanremo, scheduled for 21 March is cancelled from its original date.

Furthermore, as the appropriate authorities have verified that suitable conditions do not exist for them to be unable to guarantee the provisions of the DPCM (Decreto del Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri della Repubblica Italiana – Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic) on 4 March 2020, and to guarantee the safeguarding of public health and the safety of all the people involved, RCS Sport has made the decision to cancel Tirreno-Adriatico, scheduled for 11-17 March, and Il Giro di Sicilia, scheduled for 1-4 April.

RCS Sport will request the UCI, via the Italian Cycling Federation, to allocate new dates on the international cycling calendar for the three races, as has already been requested for Strade Bianche and Strade Bianche Women Elite.

Team Jumbo-Visma will not participate in Paris-Nice

Here is the team's release:

Team Jumbo-Visma has decided not to participate in Paris-Nice. Health risks due to the coronavirus and the lack of adequate guarantees on procedures to follow have led to a negative advice from the medical staff to participate.

Team Jumbo Visma

Team Jumbo Visma (shown at the 2019 Tour de France) will not be at Paris-Nice this year. Sirotti photo

“This hurts and it is disappointing”, director Richard Plugge of Team Jumbo-Visma says. “But this is the best decision we can take at the moment. As management, we have a responsibility to carefully assess all the risks involved. At the moment they are too significant to ignore.” Riders and staff members who would leave for the race reacted sympathetically and positively.

After the cancellation of the Italian races, Paris-Nice is still the only race that also has disappeared from our programme. Other races will be judged on a case-by-case basis. “Cycling has a unique character and travelling and staying in hotels is inherent to the sport. That makes us vulnerable in this corona crisis. The health of riders, staff and public now deserves our priority. We also take into account circumstances that may arise such as quarantine, illness or hospitalisation.”

But, Deceuninck-Quick Step will ride Paris-Nice

Here's the team's release:

For the first time since igniting the hopes of a nation last summer at the Tour de France, where he carried the coveted yellow jersey into the final weekend, Julian Alaphilippe will be at the start of a stage race on home soil, Paris-Nice, which runs its 78th edition between 8-15 March.

Julian Alaphilippe

Julian Alaphilippe in yellow late in the 2019 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

Three flat stages, two for attackers and those targeting the KOM jersey, a hilly individual time trial held in Julian’s hometown of Saint-Amand-Montrond, and two days that will seriously test the climbers make up the course of the “Race to the Sun”, which this season, for the first time in many years, won’t include the iconic Col d’Èze, a climb that has been decisive in the fight for the general classification on numerous occasions.

Former winner of both the points and best young rider jerseys at Paris-Nice, Alaphilippe will be joined at the fourth World Tour event of the season by seven teammates: national champions Sam Bennett, a three-time stage winner here, Michael Mørkøv, and Bob Jungels, Zdenek Stybar, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne victor Kasper Asgreen, Tim Declercq and Yves Lampaert, two other riders who have enjoyed a solid and impressive outing on the Opening Weekend.

“Paris-Nice is one of the most prestigious stage races of the calendar and we are heading there determined to get some good results and add to the 15 stages won at the past editions. We have two leaders, Julian and Sam, who will both find stages that suit them and will be supported by a strong team comprising riders who have shown a good form recently and can control the race, but at the same time, seize the opportunity if it arises.”

“The main goal is to win stages, but we could take an aim also at the general classification, depending on how things will go day by day. Not just the terrain will be important, but also the weather, as there’s a big chance of having some echelons on the first three stages, so we’ll have to remain alert and at all times focused”, explained sports director Tom Steels, who as a rider won six Paris-Nice stages in the ‘90s.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere explained the team’s decision to be at the start of the event: “While we understand why other teams have chosen not to race, we have decided that we will follow the guidelines set in place by the local authorities and the race organisers, and have faith in their assessment that it is safe for us to race. The health of our riders and staff is of course a priority and we will take all the necessary precautions to protect them, while still honouring our commitment to an important race.”

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