Paris, April 15 (IANS) The Tour de France will become yet another major sports event impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as organiser Amaury Sport Organisation will discuss a new date for the world’s most famous cycling tournament on Wednesday.
The decision followed French president Emmanuel Macron’s Monday announcement of the extension of a strict lockdown in France until at least May 11. Public gatherings are banned until mid-July, which made it infeasible for the race to continue as planned.
French local media L’Equipe reported that the race, originally scheduled to start in Nice on June 27 and finish in Paris on July 19, will potentially be postponed to August 29 – September 20.
French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu said in March that a Tour without roadside spectators is a possibility, but it was not acceptable by the organisers.
The race’s route is over 3,000km long with over 10 million fans lining the roads to watch the race last year.
The last time the Tour was not held was in 1946, with the nation still emerging from World War II.