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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, April 17, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. - Arthur Ashe

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More team comments on Tour de France postponement

Here's the Ag2r-La Mondiale take on the subject:

VINCENT LAVENU, Team Manager: “Extraordinary momentum to move ahead”

“The Tour will be an important moment in social and sporting life. We will arrive at the start with our best assets and a very likely duo of Romain Bardet and Pierre Latour. We are not starting from scratch, since our riders are training and they are in constant contact with the coaches and sport directors of the AG2R LA MONDIALE team. Even though the Tour will not take place in July, we hope that when the race passes through the villages, the teachers will still allow the students the opportunity to see the riders go past.

"The fans will certainly miss it, but the excitement and all the Tour represents will certainly offer an extraordinary momentum to move ahead. With the UEFA Euro 2020 and the Olympic Games being postponed, this will certainly be the biggest sporting event organized this year. At the moment, most of our riders are training on the turbo at home, often using connected software platforms, which allows them to find each other and ride together. It’s not the same or as nice as going out on the road, but I am not worried about their preparation for the Tour. We hope that among the postponed events, the Critérium du Dauphiné will serve as a springboard before the Tour. The calendar will be packed over the last three months of the year. We will organize the racing schedule for each rider. It will be intense, perhaps, but we will adapt. We now have the benchmarks that allow us to move forward."

PIERRE LATOUR: “If it can make people smile”

Pierre Latour

Pierre Latour racing in the 2019 Vuelta. Sirotti photo

“If the Tour starts at the end of August, this will mean that the current situation in France and more generally in the world, will have improved. We have not had the opportunity to train on the road for four weeks, but that is not very important compared to what is currently happening in hospitals. I’m glad that the cycling season can start again, if it can make people smile and think about something else, that’s all that matters.”

CCC's Greg van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin on the revised 2020 calendar

With the UCI today announcing a proposed revised racing calendar which will see the Tour de France run from August 29 to September 20, we caught up with Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin to get their thoughts.

Greg Van Avermaet:
“I think it’s good to have a date in mind when we can maybe start. It can still change as it depends on how the virus develops but I think for us riders, it’s really important that we have certain dates in our head where you see big races popping up. I think mentally that’s the most important thing and for sponsors, they can see an end [to the non-racing period] and when we can start riding again. So this helps us both ways.”

Greg Van Avermaet

Greg van Avermaet leads in the first stage of the 2019 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

I need to discuss with my trainer now how we are going to approach the races as good as possible. I will take a week off now as I have a little bit of knee pain so I am not riding anyway. It’s good to recover. I was already thinking that I would keep training until the Paris-Roubaix weekend and then try to recover a bit. I think it takes a few weeks to really get to a competition level but I think it is good now to know so we can also relax a little bit more, knowing when races will start so you don’t have to train that much anymore and then build up towards some smaller races and then the Tour de France.”

“It’s going to be busy, hopefully. We can see the Nationals, Tour de France, and World Championships together so that will be a big block of important races. Afterwards, the Monuments will come in because for me, I won’t do the Vuelta or Giro I don’t think. So for me, the one day races will be rally important. A big Grand Tour in the legs helps to have strong one-day classics races. so, for me, I hope it goes like this and we will see how far I can come in the races.”

Matteo Trentin:
“The first good thing is that at least we can pinpoint something on the calendar. We have a date where we need to be ready so already. Training inside is already difficult for this period of time, for me it’s already one month. But at least now you have it in your mind. As an athlete, you need a goal, a focus, something to work towards so now we have a date. We don’t know if it’s going to happen, of course, as it depends on how this pandemic develops in the next few weeks. But we have a starting point and that’s a good thing.”

“I think it will be really difficult to race everything they say we are going to race. Because if we do three Grand Tours of three weeks, then I don’t think there will be much space for any other races. So, we need to see the set up of the calendar a bit more but this can come with time. It’s not a big deal for the moment, we just need something to say that here maybe we can race and we need to be ready for this. It’s also  good point to not put any WorldTour races in the first month as then we can maybe have some preparation races and the smaller races can survive in Belgium, Italy. The races that were postponed can be used as a training race because now, a training race doesn’t exist anymore.”

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