Maracineanu on the Tour and Roland-Garos: “Not the end of the world if that is not possible” – Fil Info – Tour de France

Asked about Eurosport this Wednesday, Roxana Maracineanu is sowing doubt. In any case, the Minister of Sports leaves the door open to all possibilities concerning the Tour de France and Roland-Garros, two competitions postponed in August and September. The former swimmer said first that protests with large audiences will likely be banned until at least September, or “until a vaccine” is found against Covid-19. So far, the ban is scheduled to run until mid-July. We will therefore have to deal with the camera in the meantime, for the competitions, tournaments or matches that will take place anyway. Will the Tour de France and Roland-Garros be part of it? Roxana Maracineanu does not say no. But it does not guarantee anything: “If it is not possible, it will not be the end of the world. It will undoubtedly be the end of many things that were supported by the revenues from these tournaments and the Tour de France. We will have to reinvent ourselves if a year is missed. ” The International of France must take place from September 20 to October 4. For the Tour de France, it would be from August 29 to September 20.


Leaving the Vuelta in Irun rather than in the Netherlands? – Info thread – Vuelta

Change is preparing for the Tour of Spain! According to information from the Basque daily newspaper, El Diario Vasco, the Vuelta, which was scheduled to start in Utrecht (Netherlands) on Friday August 14, could finally launch in Irun (Spain). Why ? In order to avoid a long transfer and limit the number of racing days, the event could therefore be shortened by its Dutch stages. The border town with France was to initially host the start of the fourth stage, the first in Spain. La Vuelta, postponed to the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, would begin on Saturday October 24. If the information is confirmed, the first stage will be very demanding with an arrival in front of the Arrate sanctuary. Sanctuary which dominates Eibar and which is a reference climb of the Tour of the Basque Country known as short (5.4 km) and very difficult. The Vuelta already arrived there in 2012 with a victory by Alejandro Valverde.


Coronavirus: Philippe Gilbert fined on his bike – Fil Info

Former Belgian world champion Philippe Gilbert has revealed that he has been fined for training a bicycle in Monaco, where outings are now prohibited due to the Covid-19 epidemic. “We had found an eleven kilometer tour that we did three or four times in a row, it also allowed us to get some fresh air for an hour. At one point we got arrested and I got a hundred euro fine, he revealed toMonaco Info ((…) It is not because I won Paris-Roubaix a year ago that I have more rights than another ”.


UCI unveils new calendar, postponed Vuelta – Fil Info

This Wednesday, the organizers of the Tour de France formalized the postponement of the 2020 edition. As a result, the International Cycling Union (UCI) had to completely revise its calendar for the start of the 2020 academic year, unveiled in a statement. The organization also suspended all events until July 1. If the National Championships remain frozen at the initial date, Vuelta also pays the costs of the new coronavirus pandemic. The Giro (Italy), whose departure was initially scheduled for May 9, had already been postponed. It will be contested before the Vuelta (Spain), which was to take place from August 14 to September 6. No new date has been brought forward for these two events, however.

The new calendar decided by the UCI:

August 22-23: National Championships

August 29 to September 20: Tour de France

September 9 to 13: European Road Championships in Trento (Italy)

September 20 to 27: World Road Championships in Aigle-Martigny (Switzerland)

From September 27: Tour of Italy then Tour of Spain.


Tour de France: the start postponed to August 29? – News feed – Tour de France

The Dauphiné Libéré says this Tuesday that the start of the Tour de France should be given on August 29 next to Nice. And the arrival would be scheduled for September 20, as usual on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Originally scheduled from June 27 to July 19, the Grande Boucle finds itself obliged to change its dates following Emmanuel Macron’s speech. The President of the Republic announced on Monday a ban on “events with large audiences” in France “at least until mid-July next” in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. These dates, not yet official, could allow riders to have sufficient preparation time before attacking the demanding Tour de France.


The Amstel Gold Race will take place virtually – Fil Info

Like the Tour of Flanders, the Amstel Gold Race will have its virtual edition this Sunday. Postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first stage of the Ardennes classic triptych has announced that professional and amateur runners will be able to measure themselves against the last 26 kilometers of the route virtually. Five climbs are on the program, including the Keutenberg and the famous Cauberg, located a few kilometers from the finish line. The first departure will take place at 11 a.m., the second at 12 p.m. and the third at 1 p.m. “It will not be a competition but a bike ride together, we have chosen a 26-kilometer route, it is not very long but it is a challenge because the vicious climbs of the Amstel Gold Race final will all be at the rendezvous “mentioned Leo van Vliet, the director of the Dutch classic, in the Dutch media Wielerflits.


The Tour de France in August?

While maintaining the planned dates (June 27-July 19) seems de facto impossible with the ban announced Monday by President Emmanuel Macron of “events with a large audience” in France “at least until mid-July next “, a postponement to August is under consideration.

Thriving showcase of Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), the Tour de France represents a French monument but also the economic lung of professional cycling. If its postponement appears inevitable, its cancellation due to the Covid-19 would have serious consequences, according to all the experts interviewed by theAFP. Can the world’s largest cycling race be postponed to August? The black hypothesis of outright cancellation would not only deprive millions of afternoon viewers who stretch to contemplate breathtaking landscapes of France, punctuated by epic battles in the mountains. Because the Great Loop is above all a pillar for the budget of the teams involved, 22 in number for the 2020 edition. And if the centenary test does not take place, “this opens the possibility of an economic collapse of the sector” , warns Jean-François Mignot, researcher at CNRS and author of a “History of the Tour de France” (ed. La Découverte). “It’s very simple. If the Tour does not take place, teams could disappear, riders and management members would find themselves without work “, predicts Marc Madiot, the manager of the Groupama-FDJ team, whose budget is estimated at around 20 million euros.

READ ALSO >> Geraint Thomas “pray” for the Tour de France to take place

The threat is not due to the premiums paid to the teams by ASO, around 2.3 million euros in the 2019 edition, according to the Sporsora association, which brings together players in the sport economy. But quite simply, explains Jean-François Mignot, because for “many team sponsors, the only reason to be in cycling rather than elsewhere rests on the Tour de France. If the sponsors agree to invest, it is so that viewers can see their mark on the riders’ jerseys during the Tour, because it is the only cycling event that is so massively watched “.

A thriving business

“There are quite a few sporting disciplines that are based so much on an event, which is more owned by a private sector” and not a Federation, underlines Bruno Bianzina, director general of the agency Sport Market. It is thanks to the revenues TV rights and sponsors that racing has become such a thriving business for ASO from the mid-1980s, its turnover then increased tenfold over the following two decades (from 5 to 50 million euros), according to estimates contained in the work of Jean-François Mignot.ASO, also owner of Vuelta, Paris-Nice and Dauphiné, as well as great classics like Paris-Roubaix, is known for not giving figures but according to Sporsora, the turnover for the 2019 edition amounts to around 130 million euros, 40% to 50% of which comes from sponsors, 50% to 55% of TV rights and between 5% to 10% of communities which invest to welcome a stage start or finish. This would represent more than half of the turnover declared in 2018 by the company of the Amaury group (233.5 million euros according to

READ ALSO >> What if the Tour de France was held behind closed doors?

For all observers, a summer without a Tour would be a blow for ASO, which did not respond to AFP. “Le Tour is their cash cow,” says the boss of Sport Market. “This is what keeps everything else”, adds an actor in cycling. Understand, less profitable trials. Because if “everyone needs the Tour, the Tour needs the rest of the calendar,” says Marc Madiot, also president of the National Cycling League.

10 to 12 million spectators on the roads

Event sponsors would also lose a lot. Because the Tour de France is a unique opportunity to reach the general public, via broadcasting on screens, but also on site, with the famous Tour caravan, a veritable rolling advertising circus (31 brands and institutions in 2019) which comes before peloton. ASO claims 10 to 12 million spectators on the roads. According to Sporsora, it is necessary to pay around 250,000 to 300,000 euros for the smallest partner of the Tour. According to unconfirmed sector estimates, it would cost the LCL bank, partner of the yellow jersey since 1987, more than 10 million euros. But the shortfall does not stop at the sports sector. “It goes well beyond. The Tour is also the best + spot + advertising for French tourism”, notes Bruno Bianzina. “The territorial network of the event means that the consequences of a cancellation would be increased tenfold,” also notes Magali Tézenas du Montcel, general delegate of Sporsora, stressing the losses for the communities hosting the race.


The international association of runners refuses “a general reduction in wages” – Fil Info

Like many sports, cycling is afraid of the economic consequences of the coronavirus epidemic. On Friday, the International Association of Racers (CPA) said it was ready to compromise but will not accept “a general reduction in wages”. “We accept the flexibility requested by the AIGCP (the international association of teams) but the rules must be observed. It is not acceptable to make major cuts in wages without proof that contracts cannot be respected, “said former Italian racer Gianni Bugno.


Coronavirus: Thomas Voeckler very worried about the future

Coach of the French road cycling team, Thomas Voeckler sees with concern the situation of his sport, while the coronavirus epidemic has suspended all races. In an interview with RMC, the former runner made a point of emphasizing “the exemplarity of the French runners”, but has fears for the continuation. “It’s going to be a disaster in all areas. But for the bike we have already seen the CCC team, World Tour, which has already laid off staff and drastically lowered the wages of its riders. We do not know if this team will leave. A world first division team! Imagine the number of teams that do not have all the hyper-solid kidneys. The bicycle is sometimes precarious. There are some big sponsors who are loyal and who do not have too many worries, but there are others where there may be more worries “said the best climber of the Tour de France 2012.


Virtual Tour of Flanders: Van Avermaet has imposed itself from… its attic

The Belgian Greg Van Avermaet (CCC) won Sunday during a Virtual Round which opposed thirteen riders pedaling on rollers, connected to each other via an internet platform.

Winning the Tour of Flanders from your attic is possible! The Belgian Greg Van Avermaet (CCC) proved it on Sunday by winning in a virtual round which opposed thirteen riders pedaling on rollers, connected to each other via an internet platform. The real Tour of Flanders, originally scheduled for Sunday, having been canceled (or postponed) following the coronavirus pandemic, the organizer Flanders Classics had set up a “Lockdown Edition”. The goal: to allow the tens of thousands of fans “weaned from cycling” to vibrate for their idols, the race being broadcast by Flemish public television. A consolation, too, for the sponsors in these times of scarcity.

»READ ALSO – Coronavirus: the Tour de France with the public … but in August?

The supporters of the Olympic champion will not have been disappointed, Van Avermaet winning, at 35, with 20 seconds ahead of his compatriot Oliver Naesen and the Irishman Nicolas Roche. And if it was only a virtual race, the effort was very real to him. The proof by the abandonment of the Australian Michael Matthews, at the end of the … roll and forced to abandon 13 kilometers from the finish after “an effort too violent” for him.

Van Avermaet, installed in the attic of his home in Dendermonde (Belgium) could rejoice after having twice finished second (2014, 2017) and once third (2015) in the real race.

“My granddaughter, who did not understand why her dad was busy shopping at home, is very happy for me”

Greg Van Avermaet

“I hope that the real Tour of Flanders can take place in autumn and that I can then really win it,” said training leader CCC, a Polish team in great financial difficulty since the start of the Covid-19 crisis. . “My granddaughter (who appeared on screen from time to time behind her father, editor’s note), who did not understand why her dad was busy doing a home run, is very happy for me”, continued, hilarious , the Belgian. “It was a funny feeling: we suffer a lot without having the feeling of being in the race. I think my heart rate has never been higher. ”

“But it was very funny. I think we all had fun despite the frustration of not being pushed by the crowd. In these difficult times, it was a very good idea, ”he concluded. In concrete terms, viewers will have watched a race on their separate TV screen in two: on the left the runners filmed in full effort at their home and on the right the virtual race in video game mode. This “e-cycling” event was made possible by a digital platform and interactive live streaming trying to get as close as possible to the real racing conditions.

In Monaco, or in his cellar

We could thus see the runners grimacing during the climbs of the three hills in the program of the reduced test to the last 32 kilometers of the real Ronde: the Kruisberg, the Vieux Quaremont and the Paterberg. “The suction effect was also reproduced, the effort being more intense for the lead runner than for those placed in his wheel,” said Belgian Tim Wellens after his performance from the balcony of his apartment in .. Monaco. “I probably had a better view than Oliver Naesen who pedaled in his cellar in Belgium,” he joked.

This first virtual race in history could inspire other organizers. The Tour de Suisse would think of the same kind of race over three stages with thirteen teams of three riders. Audience figures for the program broadcast by Flemish television Sporza were not yet known on Sunday, but there is little doubt that the broadcast will have been a great success. Each year, it is normally hundreds of thousands of Flemings who gather along the routes of the Round.