Julian Alaphilippe, Remco Evenepoel and Zdenek Stybar talked of the new schedule.
The UCI have announced that the World Tour season will recommence on August 1, when the peloton will be at the start line in Siena for Strade Bianche, a race our team has won on three occasions with as many different riders. One week later, Milano-Sanremo will be staged, followed by the Tour de Pologne, Critérium du Dauphiné, RideLondon Classic, Bretagne Classic, before one of the year’s biggest rendez-vous, the Tour de France (29 August-20 September).
Tirreno-Adriatico will run between 8-14 September, when a chunk of the peloton will travel to Canada for Quebec and Montreal, with the Giro d’Italia – the season’s second Grand Tour of the season – set to take place in October (3-25). This means the Corsa Rosa will overlap with Liège–Bastogne–Liège, Flèche Wallonne, Amstel Gold Race, Gent-Wevelgem, Ronde van Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix, but also with the first week of the Vuelta a España. The last Monument of the year will once again be Il Lombardia, on 31st October, but cycling will continue well into the month of November, with the last week of La Vuelta.
“Obviously, we are still looking at the calendar as it is new, but it looks to have all of the big important races, which at this point is exciting to see. I will need some time to sit down with the team and pick out some new goals and how we go about achieving them. For sure, after the last few months it’s nice to see something written down and have something to work towards. My main goal this year was the Olympic Games, so we have to see what we can achieve in the meantime and make the most of the rest of the year. But getting to a race and pinning a number on again will be the best feeling and I am looking forward to it”, said Remco Evenepoel, who was supposed to make his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia, before the pandemic outbreak.
One of the best Classics riders in the peloton, Zdenek Stybar also shared his thoughts on the new schedule: “I am happy that we’ll have a calendar, that we know when we’ll have the Classics we love so much. It gives me a lot of joy to know when Flanders and Roubaix will take place, although it’s weird to have them in autumn. October should be quite a busy month and it will be a challenge to see how our program will look like once we return to competition, but I can’t wait to talk with the sports directors and start working for these goals.”
Winner of a dozen races last year and of the prestigious Velo d’Or trophy, Julian Alaphilippe is another Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider who can’t wait to be back in action in a couple of months’ time: “Having something official is a great relief in these hard times. We now have some real goals, races that we know will happen in August, September and October, and this makes us even more motivated. I will talk with the team this week about my schedule, to which I am really looking forward now.”
Photo credit: ©Sigfrid Eggers