Durbridge bracing for 'fast, crazy' season

Murray Wenzel
Luke Durbridge expects the racing to be frantic during the one-day road cycling Classics this year

Mitchelton-Scott team boss Matt White anticipates cyclists will plough straight through the new, condensed season as traditional plans to peak and trough go out the window.

The UCI has attempted to create some certainty despite the unknowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, releasing a revamped road calendar set to run from August 1 until October 31 across Europe, China and Canada.

It features 25 events, including each of the three Grand Tours, a world championship and all five one-day monuments.

The Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana will overlap - meaning cyclists will be unable to complete in all three Grand tours - while the world championships will begin on the day the Tour de France concludes.

White said it means teams will have to be savvy with who they deploy where but that cyclists won't be as concerned about peaking too soon.

"In a normal season there's so many ups and downs, but now you're probably going to see every guy trying to hit form at the same time," he said.

"You will be able to hold form, pretty much from when the season starts to when it ends."

"Guys who were focusing on the Olympics (now postponed until 2021) and Giro, that will likely shift.

"I can't see teams 'waiting' for the Giro.

"I think that the Tour de France will be where every team puts their first focus and after that they will work filling spots around it."

Australian Mitchelton-Scott star Luke Durbridge is bracing for a frenetic October featuring a consistent run of one-day races.

"I expect fast, crazy racing because people are going to be motivated and strong and ready," he said.

"It's probably going to be one of more challenging Classics seasons you'll see."

The national time-trial champion admitted it may be tough to transition from a hilly Tour de France into a flat world time-trial tilt but that everyone would be experimenting under the new conditions.

"Sports scientists and coaches are going to have a field day trying to work out how to gauge form," he said.

"I think that in a three-month block, you can maintain form for at least two months.

"It'll be about getting as fit and strong as possible for when racing comes around, and then race, recover, race, recover, race, recover."