This weekend cycling fans should be looking forward to a huge race on the calendar – the 2020 Tour of Flanders.
Instead due to coronavirus instead we’re left wondering when we might see the peloton again, as the UCI has further suspended racing.
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But for those desperate to fill the hours without conventional bike racing, the organisers of the Tour of Flanders are putting on a unique spectacle this weekend, as we’ll see the likes of Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck- Quick-Step), Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) race a virtual edition of the prestigious Monument.
The Tour of Flanders 2020 ‘lockdown edition’ will take place on Sunday (April 5) as a one-hour race with 13 pros competing. The race will be broadcast live on Global Cycling Network’s YouTube channel, starting at 2.30pm (BST).
Taking on the final 32km of the race, the event will be held on indoor training platform Bkool and feature the iconic climbs of the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg.
More details of where to watch this event will be published soon.
A statement from Tour of Flanders organiser Flanders Classics said: “Of course, the real Tour of Flanders has been postponed for the time being in line with the guidelines issued by the government to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. Nevertheless, we have found an alternative for the Tour of Flanders this Sunday.
“Flanders Classics developed a unique concept in collaboration with technology partners Bkool and Kiswe. Not only that, the participating teams also contributed their part to this wonderful initiative. The teams were not only more than willing to join in, they are what’s more doing so entirely free of charge.”
Other riders competing in the event include Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Zdenek Štybar (Quick-Step) and 2019 Flanders winner Alberto Bettiol (EF Pro Cycling).
The UCI has now suspended racing for a further month, now until at least June 1 as the world tries to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the news, the organiser of the Critérium du Dauphiné announced that the 2020 edition would be postponed from its scheduled start of May 31.