Move Il Lombardia to April? No way says race director Mauro Vegni

RCS Sport dismiss proposal by La Gazzetta dello Sport

While the riders were in action at Il Lombardia on Saturday, the finish in Como was buzzing with and disbelief at the suggestion that the final Classic of the season should be moved to a new date in April.

The revolutionary idea was launched by La Gazzetta dello Sport Deputy Editor Pier Bergonzi in an editorial in Saturday's edition of the sports newspaper. There were also suggestions that race director and head of cycling at RCS Sport, Mauro Vegni, had asked the UCI for a slot after Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2019 as a way to attract the likes of Peter Sagan and Chris Froome to the Italian race.

"Il Lombardia is the fifth and final monument and it's more than ever an orphan and too far away from its sister races: Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège," Bergonzi wrote.

"Cycling has changed and continues to change rapidly. So why not relocate Il Lombardia to the spring. It's only an idea but could kick off a debate. Cycling is built on tradition and history. But refusing to change doesn't help build the future. And that's where we want to ride."

The suggestion had gravitas because RCS own both Il Lombardia and La Gazzetta dello Sport. Was it a way of testing public opinion before actually making a request to move Il Lombardia from the end of the season to April?

If it was, the response was a firm no. The Tuttobiciweb website quickly organised a reader poll and 82% of voters were against the move.

Cyclingnews tracked down race director Mauro Vegni after Il Lombardia. He was amused by the debate that the article had caused by flatly dismissed the idea.

"It's not true I've asked the UCI to move Il Lombardia to a date in April," he told Cyclingnews.

"I believe Il Lombardia has to bring down the curtain on the big races of the season. Hold it in April? Absolutely not. Never."

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