The UCI Road World Champion will showcase the rainbow stripes at the 2020 Tour de France before setting his sights on the Classics in October. Jasper Stuyven will follow a similar racing schedule with a strong focus on the Classics, while Lizzie Deignan will have the Giro Rosa and the Classics as has her primary goals once the season resumes.
Having made his 2020 racing debut at the Santos Tour Down Under where he played a crucial role in helping teammate Richie Porte achieved the overall win, Mads Pedersen will stay committed to the majority of his goals for the season, which includes racing the Tour de France before an intensive block of Classics, culminating with Paris-Roubaix.
“It’s super nice to finally see a race calendar again, now we have something to aim and prepare for. The last few weeks we have spent riding but without a real goal in mind, so it’s helpful to have the calendar again and to get back in the rhythm for racing. Obviously, my targets remain the Classics, and I still hope to ride the Tour. For sure, the Classics will be my main goal, and it’s at the end of the season so I’m really looking forward to it and I’m hoping for a wet Roubaix this year,” said Pedersen.
The Covid-19 pandemic led to the suspension of the racing calendar in March and resulted in the cancelation of several races and the postponement of many others, including the monuments and prestigious spring Classics, which will now be raced in the Fall. The switch doesn’t distress the reigning World Champion:
“Racing is racing and we will be ready whenever the Classics are on. It’s okay to move the races when the world is in this situation, we will adapt to it and be ready. It’s nothing special in my mind and I’m not thinking a lot about it, I’m just looking forward to starting racing again. It will be a cool experience to do all the big races in such a short period. It’s something new for everyone and it’s going to be nice.”
Belgian Jasper Stuyven is following Pedersen’s racing blueprint. The reigning Omloop Het Nieuwsblad champion also has the Tour de France on his radar, but will make the Classics his main goal once the 2020 racing calendar resumes.
“I’m happy that they made a calendar so now we have perspective and future to look towards. Of course, it’s a new situation for everyone so it’s hard to know if it will fit you or not, but I think we are all very eager and hungry to start racing again. Also, having the calendar allows us to start planning our training schedules and gives us a goal of trying to reach our top level again,” said Stuyven.
“The Classics are still my main target and it will be a short period with a lot of races, so it will be important to find a balance between races, rest, and a little bit of training. No one knows what racing the Classics in October will bring, but from what I remember, for the last few years, the weather in October has been quite okay in Belgium. The chances are a bit higher for bad weather, but I don’t mind some rain and a bit of cold.”
Mads Pedersen is scheduled to make his return to competition in the Vuelta a Burgos (July 28 – August 1) while Tour de Pologne (August 5-9) will be Jasper Stuyven’s first race back.
Lizzie Deignan’s racing calendar will have the Giro Rosa and the Classics as key focal points. The former World Champion is particularly eager to race a stacked Classics program this fall, namely the Tour de Flanders, a race she won in 2016, and a goal once the 2020 racing calendar resumes.
“I’m particularly excited to race the ‘Spring Classics’! I don’t think it matters what time of the year they’re raced. They are iconic races and daydreaming about a victory there for the team is what motivates me now during lockdown training. Flanders has a special place in my heart and it will be another chance to experience the climbs and cobbles before the World Championships in 2021,” said Deignan.
You can consult the key goals of our General Classification contenders Vincenzo Nibali, Richie Porte, and Bauke Mollema here.