Rutland CiCLE Classic joins an ever expanding list…

British Cycling has put a post out cancelling all forms of bike racing for the foreseeable future and that includes our own local “Flemish Classic” just up the road in Rutland.

I am particularly devastated as I have a long relationship with the race and its associated sportive.

So whilst I understand and accept wholeheartedly the reasons for this. I want to express my support for the organisers and hope against hope the event will be back next year.

Fingers crossed.

Elsewhere the actual Flemish classics appear lost for 2020 with Paris-Roubaix now offically postponed.

Stay safe all and speak soon.

Italian race postponements could be a sign of things to come.

Of course the first and foremost thing to say on Covid-19 is that the health and safety of everyone should be absolutely paramount and in the grand scheme of things cycle racing is not the most important thing at this time.

But this is a cycling website so that is the area of focus that we have.

We reported last week that Strade Bianchi was postponed and this week we have no Tirreno Adriatico before the cancellation of Milan-San Remo at the end of the week.

Naturally as a lover of the sport and someone with a bit of an understanding of the financial delicacy it faces, I worry about the longer team ramifications.

It is slightly better in France as Paris-Nice is at least off and running, but when you read quotes from the riders that 90% of them will be surprised if they reach the Mediterranean at the weekend you know that this is something that wont be going away soon.

Cyclingnews has already reported that the mens and womens Giro D’Italia’s are in doubt and that there are likely to be issues in France by the time the Tour comes round.

At the moment the UK has no barriers to sports or gatherings but it feels like a matter of time and that 2020 will be a year we remember for one thing.

San Juan sees Evenepoel come of age

I have to say that having been taken with the Vuelta a San Juan last year I was left a bit cold by it in 2020.

I seem to remember Patagonian mountains and scenic routes from the previous edition that was televised, however last week there was a lot of stony countryside and very little to look at.

There were plenty of open spaces and long straight roads to thwart a breakaway, despite many attempts by Rally Cycling rider Robin Carpenter. However most of the drama came from a number of stray dogs getting tangled up with the peloton creating horrid tv images and from Remco Evenepoel showing what the future may look like.

He was a comfortable overall GC winner based on a strong time trial and his ability not to panic and come back to the leading riders on the mountain stage.

That one of his main rivals was doping cheat of the early 2000s Oscar Sevilla speaks volumes.

It was tough viewing at times, but hey road cycling is back so I am happy !

2020 season getting closer…

Even though the end of 2019 doesn’t feel that long ago and the cyclo cross season has been keeping us entertained, despite Mathieu Van der Poel dominating, its now time for the road season to restart with racing in Australia and in the next few weeks Argentina and Columbia.

The Tour Down Under is hurtling upon us with the Australian Nationals now out of the way and the racing starting in 2 days with the Ladies and on the 21st with the men.

I have been quick to criticise the Tour on previous blogs and podcasts feeling its a bit too synthetic and trying too hard.

I am no Richie Porte fan either but you have to say that his brilliant record on the races queen stage to Willunga Hill will be reason enough to pay some interest.

Maybe its my old age but I am starting to warm to the TDU as I have the Tour de Yorkshire. On the dark winters nights there is nothing better than watching some sunshine and bike racing.

It will also give those of us in the Northern hemisphere time to reflect on the terrible tragedy unfolding down under through the bush fires.

I can hardly wait to get going!