The UCI considers changing the schedule of spring classics to autumn. © Getty Images

The cycling calendar it may undergo a tremendous change in dates. Two of the most important northern classics, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, could go from being held for almost a century in April, to October. This option was announced by the President of the International Cycling Union (UCI), David Lappartient, in 'DirectVelo'.

The president argued for this impactful decision, stating that cyclists should completely change their calendar concept and, therefore, their specific preparations, based on the UCI's commitment to the environment. This change could reduce the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the peloton in each race, especially the multiple travels from one race to another. 

The goal is to reduce by 50% the emissions and carbon footprint generated by the continuous travels of cycling caravans from one competition to another, sometimes repeating trips to the same place in very close weeks. In this way, the idea is to consolidate the races that take place in the same location on close days to avoid massive displacements.

It is evident that this circumstance, which is on the roadmap for 2026 and would increase the number of changes by 2030, a year in which the UCI wishes to have implemented all the planned changes, represents a drastic break with cycling tradition. 

The northern classics, known for their toughness on the Belgian road stones, have always been associated with the harshness brought by the cold weather conditions of the months of April, with the capricious spring in those northern European locations. Specialists in this type of one-day races, such as Vander Poel, Van Aert, or the surprising Pogacar or Tom Pidcock, would find themselves at a crossroads as they would have to modify their training and preparation.

The UCI considers changing the schedule of spring classics to autumn. © Getty Images
The UCI considers changing the schedule of spring classics to autumn. © Getty Images

This change in dates would mean that cyclists who want to peak early in the season to be competitive in these classics, concentrated in March and April, with this change would be forced to start the campaign later if they want to reach a high point in such advanced months of the year. It also represents extra work for the trainers because with this new concept, they would first go to the major stage races (Spain, France, and Italy) and then to these objectives.

 This announcement that the head of the UCI dropped as if it were a test to measure the impact and reception of the cycling community is a scenario that was already experienced in 2020 when the pandemic forced the suspension of the races in the spring and later allowed the competitions to take place without an audience, as mandated by the authorities and the circumstances of the moment. 

On that occasion, everything went well and was to the liking of cyclists and organizers, although it was done out of necessity. However, it seems that now the UCI is going to take it as an example to make a radical change to the calendar.