The European cycling race calendar runs from the beginning of January until the end of October. The last of the big three-weekly cycling races is the Vuelta a España, and after that it feels like the race season is over. However, if we look at the calendar, there are still a few nice events to look out for.
The World Championship
The biggest and most important race on the horizon is the WC, held from 22 to 30 September in Innsbruck, Austria. The competition will be open for men, women, and junior competitors, and a title can be won for both single and team time trials. Of the races, the men’s race has the most challenging course. This year it seems that there is a high chance for a new world champion, other than Peter Sagan. We put our money on Tom Dumoulin, of course, with Julian Alaphilippe as the dangerous outsider.
Paris-Tours has not been part of the UCI World Tour for a number of years, so the prestige of the race isn’t that high anymore. But it is a race that has being going on since 1896 and in its 112th edition this year. The race ends in Tours, but it has had nothing to do with Paris for years. It is a one-day race that is often plagued by bad weather, making it a bit more heroic. Usually there are sprinters who win, but sometimes you get a surprising winner, thanks to fans. Matteo Trentin won last year and Erik Dekker was the last Dutch winner in 2004. The race will be held on 7 October.
Tour of Turkey
There are two smaller tours this year that count in the UCI World Tour, where big teams have to send their riders. From 9 to 14 October, the riders in the peloton will get some nice weather before winter riding in Turkey. This race takes place mainly on the western side of the country where there are many flat land stages—so it’s often a matter of the fastest sprinters who take the final victory. Diego Ulissi won last year.
Tour of Lombardy
We do have one Classic to look forward to: the Tour of Lombardy. This is a race that usually has interesting weather. Often there is rain and wind, which challenges the riders who have to overcome some very difficult mountains and hills. The winner is often a rider with a big name. Over the past few years we have seen absolute class winners such as Vincenzo Nibali, Esteban Chaves, Daniel Martin and Joachim Rodriguez. This year the Tour of Lombardy will be held on 13 October.
Tour of Guangxi
The cycling season will end this year with the Tour of Guangxi. From 16 to 21 October the peloton lands in China with a race along the border of Vietnam. This tour is still fairly new. Last year it was held for the first time and the UCI World Tour course was won by Tim Wellens. The race will be decided in a single stage this year, ending on a 1st category climb.
And after that? We have the black hole where riders can enjoy their holidays and we can dream about what we will see next year. And we will have more time to play Pro Cycling Manager again.