Coronavirus: UCI suspends all road cycling until at least end of April

By Sports Desk March 18, 2020

All road cycling events until at least the end of April have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Union Cycliste International (UCI) announced on Wednesday.

Just three days after announcing a suspension on all events until April 3, the UCI extended the hiatus in the calendar following a meeting with race organisers, teams and riders.

The resumption date will be reviewed during the intervening period, with events on the calendar at that point, the three Grand Tours and the sport's Monuments to be given priority in any rescheduling procedure.

The Giro d'Italia, which was due to start on May 9, has already been postponed, while the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege - three of the five Monuments - will no longer take place as planned.

A UCI statement read: "With this decision, cycling wishes to be able to guarantee the visibility of our sport, which will find itself in competition with other major international sports events, while ensuring the best possible exposure for the most-viewed races.

"Moreover, the UCI would like to make clear that the men and women's road season may be extended until November 1, 2020.

"The principle of flexibility could also be envisaged when it comes to the number of cyclists entered by teams at events.

"These decisions will be submitted to the UCI management committee and the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) for approval.

"Finally, the UCI proposed that cycling's stakeholders hold regular meetings to better anticipate the resumption when the time comes.

"For disciplines other than road, the UCI will make a detailed announcement at a later date."

Mitchelton-Scott, Movistar, Astana and Jumbo-Visma were among a host of teams to pull out of races at the start of March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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    Dylan Groenewegen has been banned for nine months after he caused a crash which left fellow cyclist Fabio Jakobsen in an induced coma.

    The incident happened at the Tour of Poland in August, with Groenewegen deviating from his line and nudging Dutch compatriot Jakobsen during a sprint for the finish.

    Jumbo-Visma suspended Groenewegen from competing until the UCI made a ruling over any sanctions, with the governing body announcing its decision to impose a backdated ban on Wednesday.

    "The UCI referred the case against the rider, who acknowledged that he deviated from his line and committed a violation of the UCI Regulations," read a statement.

    "The rider collaborated with the investigation and accepted to serve a period of suspension until 7 May 2021, corresponding to a period of nine months from the date of the incident.

    "The rider also accepted to take part in a number of events to the benefit of the cycling community."

    Jakobsen spent a week in intensive care and has undergone facial surgery, with the 24-year-old on a long road to recovery.

    Groenewegen, who had already apologised for his actions, posted on Instagram following the ruling.

    "The crash in the first stage of the Tour of Poland will forever be a black page in my career," he said.

    "During the sprint I deviated from my line. I am sorry, because I want to be a fair sprinter. The consequences were very unfortunate and serious.

    "I am very aware of that and I hope this has been a wise lesson for every sprinter.

    "I follow the news of Fabio's recovery very closely. I can only hope that one day he will return completely."

  • Vuelta a Espana: Roglic clinches second successive red jersey Vuelta a Espana: Roglic clinches second successive red jersey

    Primoz Roglic clinched a second successive Vuelta a Espana title by finishing the processional stage safely as Pascal Ackermann won a photo finish in Madrid.

    Roglic lost time on stage 17 on Saturday but not enough to take the red jersey from him, the Slovenian effectively ensuring he would retain the title.

    His victory was confirmed in the Spanish capital, where a thrilling sprint saw a dramatic conclusion to the 18th and final stage of the last race of the season.

    Bora Hansgrohe led matters going into the final kilometre of the 139.6km route and it was they who were celebrating at the finish as Ackermann edged Sam Bennett on the line.

    Roglic also takes the green points jersey, with Guillaume Martin named King of the Mountains.

    "It is beautiful to finish the season like this," Roglic told Eurosport. 

    "I always say every time when you win it's beautiful. It's really hard. It's impossible to compare [the two titles]."


    STAGE RESULT

    1. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3:28:13
    2. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) Same time
    3. Max Kanter (Sunweb) Same time
    4. Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) Same time
    5. Jasha Sutterlin (Sunweb) Same time

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification

    1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 72:46:12
    2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +00:24
    3. Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) +01:15

    Points Classification

    1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 204
    2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 133
    3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 111

    King of the Mountains

    1. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) 99
    2. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 34
    3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 30

  • Vuelta a Espana: Roglic set to retain title despite late Carapaz scare Vuelta a Espana: Roglic set to retain title despite late Carapaz scare

    Primoz Roglic will retain his Vuelta a Espana title in Madrid on Sunday despite Richard Carapaz threatening to inflict more penultimate-stage heartbreak on the Slovenian.

    David Gaudu stormed up La Covatilla to claim a magnificent second stage victory of this year's Vuelta, but it was further down the mountain where the drama was unfolding.

    Roglic started a brutal, decisive stage 17 on Saturday with a 45-second lead over Carapaz, but the Jumbo-Visma rider was in danger of losing the red jersey on a gruelling final climb to a mountain-top finish.

    Hugh Carthy, third in the General Classification standings, made a move with 4.5km to go, yet Roglic and Carapaz reacted and were able to follow the Brit again when he burst away for a second time.

    Roglic and Carthy could not catch Ecuadorian climber Carapaz when he decided the time had come to make one massive final push to try and win the race 3km from the end of the gruelling 178.2km stage from Sequeros.

    A shattered Roglic looked to be in trouble as he faded and was left isolated as INEOS Grenadiers rider Carapaz darted up the mountain, with the leader struggling on the steeper sections.

    Carthy also moved away from Roglic, but the reigning champion dug deep to cross the line 21 seconds after Carapaz, who will have to settle for second place.

    Roglic endured the agony of sensationally losing his Tour de France lead to Tadej Pogacar on the decisive stage in September, but he was not to be denied on this occasion despite the best efforts of Carapaz in an enthralling battle.

    A second Grand Tour title will be Rogic's at the end of a 124.4km flat processional ride from Hipodromo de la Zarzuela to Madrid on Sunday.

     

    STAGE RESULT

    1. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) 4:54:32
    2. Gino Mader (NTT) +00:28
    3. Ion Izagirre (Astana) +01:05
    4. David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates) +01:05
    5. Mark Donovan (Sunweb) +01:53

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification

    1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 64:20:31
    2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +00:24
    3. Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) +00:47

    Points Classification

    1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 204
    2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 133
    3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 111

    King of the Mountains

    1. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) 99
    2. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 34
    3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 30

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