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Tour de France under threat as cycling grinds to a halt

por Maynard Cadwallader (2020-03-17)


The 2020 Tour de France is under threat of cancellation as professional cycling around the world, like so many other major sports, grinds to a halt because of the spread of Coronavirus.

The Tour is scheduled to start in Nice in just over three months, on June 27, with most of the race entourage, including past winners such as Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal, gathering on the French Riviera a few days before.

However with both the British and French governments anticipating that the pandemic will last into the summer, the race organisation are now believed to be studying alternative scheduling.






The 2020 Tour de France is under threat of cancellation owing to the coronavirus pandemic







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Earlier this week, despite the likely cancellations of the Euros and even the Olympic Games, Tour director Christian Prudhomme remained defiant.

‘Only two world wars have stopped the Tour de France,' Prudhomme said, but that was before President Macron's statement on Thursday evening which provoked a dramatic halt to French professional sport until further notice.

If you have any queries regarding wherever and how to use banquet, you can get hold of us at our own web-page. The Tour's Paris-based promoter ASO is the leading race organiser in cycling and relies heavily on global television revenues, particularly from the Tour, to fund its events.

The city of Nice, little more than a stone's throw from the northern Italian border, may also be a particularly unfortunate location for the 2020 Tour's Grand Depart.






The pandemic is expected to last into the summer, when the race is due to commence


This week's Paris-Nice stage race, which today ended a day early at La Colmiane, was diverted away from the city after Sunday's scheduled final stage to central Nice was cancelled.

The 2020 Giro d'Italia, Europe's second biggest national tour, has already been postponed and numerous other cornerstones of the season have also fallen by the wayside. Paris-Nice itself limped to a half-hearted finish, with several teams and riders heading home as the race progressed through France while others, including Froome's Team Ineos, opted not to take part.

‘My country has asked that all Danish nationals go home as soon as possible,' World Champion Mads Pedersen said on Saturday morning as he left the race, ‘so in agreement with the team, I'm not starting this morning to respect this decision. It is sad to leave my team-mates just before the final stage, but we believe that respecting the authorities is what we have to do.'






A decision is expected to be made soon and the Giro d'Italia has also been postponed


In Britain the Women's Tour, between June 8-13, has also been postponed.

‘The decision has been taken early in light of the worsening global situation,' race promoter SweetSpot said, ‘following discussions with event stakeholders and partners, in order to provide certainty to the many parties involved in the planning and organisation of the event, including local authorities, police and health services in the UK.'

However, the Tour de Yorkshire, joint-promoted by Tour de France owners ASO and Welcome to Yorkshire, remains as originally scheduled from April 30 to May 3. Cancellation would be a further blow to a race has been beset by controversy in recent months over its financing, after WTY chief executive Gary Verity resigned a year ago, in the wake of an expenses and bullying scandal.






It comes after Danish cyclist Mads Pedersen left the Paris-Nice race to return to Denmark


In a statement last week, WTY said: ‘Welcome to Yorkshire is constantly monitoring the coronavirus situation and will be taking expert advice over the coming weeks from Public Health England, the World Heath Organisation (WHO) and the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), a Tour de Yorkshire partner.'

For the world's top riders, the crisis couldn't have come at a worse time, with the European season now getting into its full swing.

While many of the top riders will head to hastily-arranged training camps with their teams, others will now be fretting over their job security and the impact the crisis will have on their team sponsorships.

For all of them however, like almost every other professional athlete, there's little more they can do other than sit and wait.


















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