IT looks almost certain that cyclocross rivals Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel will meet at least five times in classic road races before any resumption of their 'cross rivalry might occur in November. Both riders will resume their road seasons with Strade Bianche (1st August), Milan-Turin (5th August) and Milan-Sanremo (8th August) and the pair will meet again later in the season at the Tour of Flanders before Paris-Roubaix on 25th October.

While Van Aert tackles the Tour de France (29th August-20th September), Van der Poel will switch his attention to World Cup mountain biking in Lenzerheide, Les Gets and Nove Mesto.

Both riders will be hoping to gain selection for the World Road Championship on 27th September which comes just one week after the finish of the Tour de France.

Van der Poel will also aim to retain his Amstel Gold title on 10th October and neither rider is expected to be seen in a cyclocross race until mid-late November at the earliest.

Alvarado dreams of the Giro

World 'cross champion Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado meanwhile, has started training with her cyclocross bike and hopes to start her season in late September or early October.

"We don't know how much the corona crisis will have an impact yet. Races are being adjusted and shifted, but I hope everything will be the same. My goals will remain the same. I want defend my titles, including my rainbow jersey and of course take a lot of victories and hopefully win the expanded World Cup," the Dutchwoman is quoted as saying by Sporza.

"The ultimate goal is to build a road career, but there is no time pressure on it. It is a see how it goes and how far we get with the team too so we shall see," Alvarado added. "I think climber's races, Tours and very tough races will suit me best on the road. My dream race? The Giro Rosa, I dream of that. But that is for in the future."

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Photos: Kike Abelleira & Jeff Corcoran.