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Giro d'Italia set to move closer to Tour de France to prevent calendar clash

Joe Robinson
20 Nov 2018

Lappartient also confirms Tafi likely to ride for Dimension Data

UCI president David Lappartient has suggested that the Giro d'Italia may be moved back in the annual calendar in order to avoid overlap with the Tour of California.

Speaking to Italian sports newspaper, Gazzetta dello Sport, Lappartient stated that the Giro could be forced into starting a week later, as early as 2020, with the week-long Tour of California being moved forward a week in order to prevent a clash between the two high-profile races.

'We are working to avoid overlapping between the Giro d'Italia and Tour of California. We have already met with RCS (Giro organisers) and we will speak with the Americans in December,' said Lappartient.

'The plan is to postpone the Giro by a week and push California one week earlier allowing riders to race them both.'

For 2019, the Tour of California is scheduled to start on Sunday 12th May, just one day after the start of the Giro in Emilia-Romagna.

This stretches the resources of teams, having to supply riders and staff for not only one of the season's biggest races but also one of the races furthest from Europe, where almost all WorldTour resources are centred. 

Overlap in WorldTour events has been a concern with the steady growth of the calendar, with some points of the season even seeing three WorldTour events taking place simultaneously, to such an extent that some teams have even failed to field full teams at races.

The potential moving of the Giro could also put the Giro/Tour double truly to bed. By moving back, the gap between the two Grand Tours will shrink to just three weeks, a timeframe too tight for a rider to recover.

This year, Chris Froome (Team Sky) attempted the feat, winning the Giro but only managing third at the Tour, the closest attempt since Marco Pantani took victory in both in 1998.

Worlds in Africa and Tafi's return

Rwanda and Morocco were also confirmed as the two candidates for the 2025 World Championships, with Lappartient saying Rwanda were in pole position to take the bid due to already hosting a major stage race. The decision is set to be announced in Yorkshire, at the Worlds, next year. 

Lappartient also furthered the rumours that 52-year-old retired pro Andrea Tafi is likely to sign a contract with Dimension Data in order to race Paris-Roubaix in 2019, 20 years after his victory at the race. Lappartient told Gazzetta that Tafi 'seems to have found a place with the South African team.'

The Italian is looking to return to the cobbles of northern France next season, despite being 13 years retired, with the African team now likely to offer him a contract for one more attempt at the race.

Quick-Step Floors have already confirmed they would not be signing their former rider despite team manager, Patrick Lefevere, labelling the idea as 'beautiful'. 

In the same interview, Lappartient also reaffirmed comments made to Cyclist this month that the UCI plans to ban painkiller Tramadol in-competition from March of 2019.

The Frenchman also revealed that testing for the drug would take place before racing via a blood prick from the finger, with disqualification for riders found over the limit. 

He again reiterated his call for the banning of power meters suggesting that a focus group of those within cycling and those outside, such as journalists and TV producers, would consider ways of making the sport more attractive and whether the banning of power meters would be included.