August 28th, 2020
All Eyes On France In Cycling
The postponed 2020 Tour de France is set to start on 29 August. The 21-stage race will be held under meticulous health measures.
The event, delayed for two months due to the lobal coronavirus pandemic, will see the clash of 176 cyclists from 30 countries representing 22 teams. The race will begin with the 156km Nice-Nice stage on Saturday 29 August and conclude with the 122 km long 21st stage between Mantes-la-Jolie and Paris Champs-Élysées on Sunday 20th of September.
The riders, teams’ staff members and race officials have been tested for COVID-19, and isolated two days before the start of the race. Entire tour entourage will be re-tested on the two rest days, on 7 September and 14 September. Under the health measures of the event, teams will be expelled if two members test positive.
On the 107th edition of the Tour, there are no finishes on iconic ascents such as L'Alpe d'Huez and Mount Ventoux. Most remarkable mountain finishes this year will happen on the ascents of the Puy Mary summit in Massif Central on stage 13 and on the Col de la Loze pass in the Alps on stage 17.
There is no team time trial either this year. There will only be one 36km individual time trial between Lure and La Planche des Belles Filles, to be held on stage 20.
The youngest rider to participate in the 2020 Tour de France is the 21-year old Frenchman Maxime Chevalier from Team B&B-Vital Concept. The oldest starter is Movistar’s 40-year old Spaniard Alejandro Valverde who is also the most experienced with twelve former participations. Tony Martin follows Valverde with 11 participations, Imanol Erviti and Pierre Rolland both with 10 participations.
Reigning champion Egan Bernal of Team Ineos will once again appear in France to defend his title. The 1997-born Colombian had abandoned the Critérium du Dauphiné road race two weeks ago due to a back injury.
August 17th, 2020
Back To Running Courses
Whilst several races scheduled to autumn are getting cancelled in Europe, the staged events are promising for the road runners.
Though the coronavirus is still in effect, mass participation events are getting back in some countries, particularly where the number of cases has dropped. The organisers developed various measures to ensure the health and safety of the participants in order to enable the comeback. Race timers take an important role in the “new normal” era as well.
The Moscow Half Marathon left a mark on the sports world in the first half of August with 9,511 runners crossing the finish line. The race was timed by ChronoTrack and the start, given in waves, took about 40 minutes in total. A 10m timing mat was set up at the start line, 8m lines served the purpose at the intermediate distances.
Major international road races in Turkey are to begin in September. The Izmir Half Marathon, which is limited to 500 participants, will take place on 6 September. Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon, the only “gold” event remaining in September following the many cancellations of the World Athletics labelled road races, will also be held with a limited number of runners and without any participation from abroad. The race on 20 September will host the Turkish citizens and the foreigners residing in Turkey only. The 10km run is cancelled from the programme.
Depar Timing, set to be back in action at the Samsung Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race on 23 August, will make the first appearance in autumn road races at the Zagreb Marathon on 11 October.
July 22th, 2020
Last Chance For The Cross-Continental Race
Additional quotas for foreign swimmers are announced for the Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race on 23 August.
Turkish Olympic Committee, the organiser of the event since 1989, re-opened the registration at bogazici.olimpiyat.org.tr only for the swimmers abroad. The initial 1200-person international quota had filled within three hours of opening on 4 January.
The foreign participants will join the Turkish swimmers, who are selected through a qualification process, in Kuruçeşme at the European side of Istanbul on the 23rd of August. The competitors will then be taken to Kanlıca, the start area of the race at the Asian side, with an increased number of three boats as one of the many precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of the participants.
The 32nd Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race carries a significance as it is an international sporting event gathering 2400 participants after the long coronavirus break. Depar Timing will provide the timing services for the 6.5km event as well as transmitting the results to the LED screens.
June 28th, 2020
"Mechanical Doping" Investigation Closed
A probe into the use of hidden motors at top level cycling races, conducted by the French police, dropped for lack of evidence.
The investigation, initiated by the French Financial Prosecutor's Office following the detection of an electrical motor in a race bike nearly four years ago, has closed as there were no cases ever since. According to L'Equipe, the prestigious French daily newspaper devoted to sports, the investigators did not question the top management of the International Cycling Union (UCI) but took the statement of Hungarian Istvan Varjas, the self-professed inventor of the tiny hidden motors. However, it is public that all the bicycles that UCI had been scanning against technological frauds by tablets and thermal cameras since 2010 turned out to be “clean” except the single case in 2016.
The allegations about the mechanical doping were first raised in 2010 when the Swiss star Fabian Cancellara was accused of using a motor to win the Paris-Roubaix that year. UCI shortly began pre-race and post-race controls at the global championships, and a spare bike of Belgium's U23 rider Femke Van den Driessche was found to have a motor at the Cyclo-Cross World Championships in Heusden-Zolder in 2016. Although denying any knowledge of the assist motor and a friend of her testified that the bike belonged to him, Van den Driessche was banned from competitions for six years by the UCI.
June 19th, 2020
National Running Calendar Update
Turkish road race organisers are working on determining the dates of their races in autumn. Some events won't be held this year.
The coronavirus outbreak that hit the events all around the world in spring is still an obstacle to announce a final calendar for the fall season. Out of the 168 races that were granted Road Race Labels by the World Athletics, 38 events were postponed, with another 35 cancelled for the year. Not all the organisers who publicised new dates can confirm whether they will eventually be able to hold their races even though they continue with the preparations. The post-pandemic calendar is also drafted in Turkey.
The Mersin Marathon, previously postponed to 25 October, is now cancelled by the Mersin Metropolitan Municipality, the organiser of the event, due to the ongoing health concerns in its first edition with a World Athletics Silver Label. The event will be held in March in 2021 with the Silver Label preserved.
Another spring race, Diyarbakır Sur Half Marathon had been rescheduled to 11 October, however, it is recently moved back to 27th of September in order to serve as the trials for the World Half Marathon Championships to be held on 17 October. The public race planned for the day will be reconsidered depending on the developments on the pandemic.
Also keeping an eye on how the coronavirus progresses, İstanbul Half Marathon, one of the two World Athletics Gold Label Races in Turkey, is getting prepared for its new date 20 September while the second “Gold” event, the İstanbul Marathon is likely to cancel the public run from the programme on 8 November.