Jumbo-Visma's boss criticizes World Championships program announcement: It gives a bad signal to the cycling world
Apr 01 2020 11:09 pm CET

Jumbo-Visma's boss criticizes World Championships program announcement: It gives a bad signal to the cycling world
Jumbo-Visma's boss criticizes World Championships program announcement: It gives a bad signal to the cycling world
World Championships Aigle-Martigny 2020

Just after the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced the complete program for the 2020 World Championships, team leaders like Jumbo-Visma's have shown their disapproval of it.

Richard Plugge, Jumbo-Visma's boss, and Patrick Lefevere, CEO of Deceuninck-Quick-Step have shown their displeasure with the announcement of the World Championships' schedule. The UCI published the program of the competitions that will take place in Aigle-Martigny, Switzerland, from the 20th to the 27th of September and this was not really welcomed by some teams.

"This is very bad leadership, an incredibly bad signal to the cycling world," said Plugge to Dutch broadcaster NPO Radio 1. "At the moment the question is whether we are going to race. There are a lot of organisers, teams and riders in uncertainty about if we will still ride. We are looking into how the calendar will be filled, possibly from June. And before any of that is discussed, the UCI showed the calendar for that week. That gives me the message: before we give other people a place, we will take ours in advance."

One of the main discussion points is the mixed time trial, an event that replaced the team time trial for commercial teams, and that in the eyes of some teams could easily be removed, giving space to other more important races. Despite two of his riders -Jos van Emden and Koen Bouwman- were part of the mixed team that took Gold in the 2019 championships, Plugge believes that this event can be removed from the competitions.

"Everything is now in jeopardy, you can redesign the cycling calendar as you want," said Jumbo-Visma's boss. "And then they claim their spot first, while they could also be helping race organisers by donating that weekend."

Without the mixed time trial, the rest of the events of the World Championships could be finished before the weekend, and leave the weekend of the 26th and 27th of September open for other races. "You could keep that weekend free to let the Tour of Flanders or Milano-Sanremo happen. If you really mean it, then you make sure that the weekend remains free. And that is easy if the individual time trial is moved to Wednesday."

And when asked if it would be fine to be one year without the mixed time trial, Plugge responds: "For a year? Preferably never again."




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