(ATR) The Tour de France adjusts its schedule to avoid a conflict with the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The 2021 Tour de France will begin a week early. (Wikimedia Commons)
The International Cycling Union (UCI) revealed its schedule for 2021 on Tuesday, moving the start of the race up by a week. It will now run from June 26 to July 18, ending the weekend before the Olympics open on July 23.
The original dates for the Tour de France, July 2-25, would have overlapped with two of the three Olympic road cycling races scheduled for July 24, 25 and 28. The new dates will allow cyclists to compete in both.
The Tour de France had been moved a week earlier this year for the Olympics but the Tokyo Games were postponed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year’s Tour was also postponed and is now set to begin on August 29.
The UCI announced that two men’s events have been removed from next year’s calendar. The organizers of the Amgen Tour of California (United States) and the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (Great Britain) have declined to register for 2021. The Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race will also not be held in 2021.
The Road to Tokyo for World Athletics
World Athletics has revised its shoe technology for athletes as they prepare for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Due to the global pandemic, the federation could establish amended rules through late 2021 to maintain a technology status quo until after the Games.
“These transitional rules give us more time to develop a set of working rules for the long term, which will be introduced after the Olympic Games next year, with the aim of achieving the right balance between innovation, competitive advantage and universality,” said World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon.
Changes include the height requirement of spiked shoes for track and field events such as cross country and triple jump. The organization also established the “Athletic Shoe Availability Scheme” to ensure that unsponsored elite athletes who need a pair of shoes prior to competition can get them.
World Athletics will resume its Olympic qualifying system for the marathon and race walk events in September. The suspension was supposed to be in effect until Nov. 30 but was lifted due to the lack of qualifying opportunities available for road athletes before the qualification period ends in May 2021.
Sebastian Coe, World Athletics president (Flickr)
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe noted the uncertainties of finding enough cities to host races due to the pandemic.
“That situation, combined with the fact that endurance athletes in the marathon and race walks can only produce a very limited number of high-quality performances a year, would really narrow their qualifying window without this adjustment.” said Coe.
From Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, road athletes are eligible to register for Olympic qualifying entry. However, road athletes may only qualify for authorized races held on World Athletics courses with on site drug testing.
The Nov. 30 suspension date remains in place for remaining track and field events.
The federation is also working with organizers at the London and Abu Dhabi marathons to help athletes with travel. A decision on whether the London Marathon will be run this year is expected on August 7.
Revisions for HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series
HSBC Canada Sevens 2020.(World Rugby)
The combined men’s and women’s Dubai and Cape Town rounds for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will not happen this year due to the pandemic.
The events were scheduled for November 26-28 and December 4-6 respectively. World Rugby says it remains committed to focusing on the remainder of 2021 schedule while closely monitoring the ongoing pandemic.
Currently 21 of the 24 teams have qualified for Tokyo 2020, and planning for the final qualification event in the first half of 2021 is ongoing.
Rugby sevens is projected to be a popular attraction for fans due to the success of last year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Birmingham 2022 celebrates two years to go
The Commonwealth Games marks less than 730 days until the Opening Ceremony for Birmingham 2022. The event is slated to be the UK’s biggest event since London 2012.
To celebrate two years to go on Tuesday, Birmingham 2022 unveiled venue plans for 3x3 basketball, 3x3 wheelchair basketball and beach volleyball.
Two arenas will be created side by side in Smithfield, located in the city center of Birmingham.
Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport says “With two years to go until Birmingham 2022, we've reached another major milestone. The site at Smithfield will be right at the heart of that, acting as a powerful focal point in making this a Games for everyone and helping to create a real buzz in the heart of the city.”
Written by Greer Wilson and Gerard Farek
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