Paris, April 14 (IANS) The rescheduling of Tour de France may be inevitable now with the French government stepping in. France President Emmanuel Macron had said in his address on Monday night that the country would remain in lockdown until May 11 in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castane later said on national radio that the Tour may have to be rescheduled or cancelled. “It is up to the organiser to analyse their ability to organise it and reschedule it,” Castaner said.
The race is scheduled to start on June 27 in Nice and end in Paris on July 19. Tour director Christophe Prudhomme had said earlier that athletes will need at least two months to get ready for the race.
Prudhomme had also ruled out holding the race behind closed doors. Over 500,000 fans attend the event that is stretched over 3000km with 21 start towns and 21 finish lines.
France, like most European countries, has been reeling under the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic in addition to the toll it is taking on the country’s healthcare system.
Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday that the country’s economy will shrink by 8 percent by the end of the year.