Eddy Merckx on new calendar: The Giro d'Italia was not treated well
May 18 2020 09:45 pm CET

Eddy Merckx on new calendar:  The Giro d'Italia was not treated well
Eddy Merckx on new calendar:  The Giro d'Italia was not treated well
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Former rider Eddy Merckx has expressed his wishes for the cycling season to return, but he doesn't think the Italian grand tour got the treatment it deserved in the revamped calendar.

The winner of five Tour de France, five Giro d'Italia, one Vuelta a España, three World Championships, seven Milano-Sanremo, five Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and three Paris-Roubaix, among many others, talked about the new season and the challenges of cycling during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new calendar made by the UCI along with representatives of all cycling aspects, is supposed to start on the first of August, but everything still depends on the way the coronavirus pandemic develops in each country. For Merckx is important that the races return for the sake of the sport.

"At least we have to try, for the teams, for the fans but also for the sponsors, otherwise the sport could collapse," said Merckx to Italian cycling website tuttobiciweb.it. "Many teams are at risk of closing if they don't go back to riding and sponsors are threatening to leave. To wait and do nothing would be worse for everyone. We need to keep paying attention, of course, but we have to try.

In the new calendar, the Italian grand tour will overlap with Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the Amstel Gold Race, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, the BinckBank Tour and the first part of the Vuelta a España, while the Tour de France only overlaps with Tirreno-Adriatico.

"Eight calendar months were concentrated in 90 days, some overlapping was inevitable," the former World Champion explained." But the Giro d'Italia was not treated well, there was no respect. Some great classics must have been programmed also during the Tour.

"Nobody wants to deny the enormous importance of the Tour, both economic and for the media, but they also deserve respect for the other races that have made the history of cycling."