The Tour de France from August 29 to September 20?

Research new date: the postponement of the Great Loop, made inevitable by the announcement of Emmanuel Macron, poses a new challenge to an event confronted for the first time in such a situation but its organizers (ASO) remain silent for the moment.

Research new date: the postponement of the Great Loop, made inevitable by the announcement of Emmanuel Macron, poses a new challenge to an event confronted for the first time in such a situation but its organizers (ASO) remain silent for the moment.

(AFP) – According to the newspaper The Dauphine, which published the information Tuesday evening, the Tour 2020 will start August 29 from the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. It will end September 20 on the Champs-Elysées. The Tour will follow the route planned during the three weeks of racing, specifies the regional newspaper which is concerned first and foremost because of its location in the heart of the Alps. The company ASO (Amaury Sport Organization), which is in the habit of contacting the elected representatives of the stage cities and territories concerned as a priority, did not confirm this date on Tuesday evening.

Scheduled initially from June 27 to July 19, the Tour enters the time zone of prohibited gatherings (until mid-July) by the announcement made Monday evening by the President of the Republic. The riders, who must still remain confined, would not have been able to prepare in time for a Grand start set less than two months (the deadline set by the director of the Tour Christian Prudhomme) after their first outing. It will now remain to determine the fate of the 80th SkodaTour of Luxembourg, scheduled for it from … September 15 to 19, i.e. in the middle of the 2020 Grande Boucle …

Luxemburger Supporter feuern Cédric Pries (Team Lëtzebuerg - 166) year / Cycling Luxemburg Prologue / 05.06.2019 / Skoda Tour de Luxembourg / Ville de Luxembourg / Foto: Yann Hellers

The 80th Tour of Luxembourg is scheduled from September 15 to 19. If the organizers remain optimistic about its progress, they are already planning some adjustments.

Questioned on the subject Tuesday morning, the Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner pronounced the word “essential”. “It is up to the organizers to analyze their capacity to organize this, to postpone it,” he said on France Inter, returning the ball to the event organizer. The first hypothesis raised here and there, a one month shift in the calendar, had major drawbacks.

First of all, the proximity of the green light given by Emmanuel Macron to the rallies. But also the difficulty of placing a preparatory race such as the Dauphiné before the start of the Tour as well as the problem posed by the limited hotel capacity in tourist places during the first half of August. The choice to shift towards the end of the summer takes into account the hoped-for improvement in the health situation. A sine qua non condition for an event which is much more than a cycle race, a party inseparable from the public to the point that the hypothesis of behind closed doors, a race without spectators, has died out by itself.

Die Fahrer auf den letzten 100 Metern - 6. Etappe - Mulhouse / La Planche des Belles Filles 160.5 km - Tour de France 2019 - Foto: Serge Waldbillig

The countdown is accelerating for the Great Loop whose chances of being held on the scheduled dates, from June 27 to July 19, are reduced over the days in the dramatic health context that the country is experiencing.

The uncertainty on the subject led everyone to express themselves as much as the Tour, the peak of the cycling season, is above all essential to the economic balance of his sport. “It is very simple. If the Tour does not take place, teams could disappear, runners and members of management would find themselves without work “, summed up Marc Madiot, the manager of the Groupama-FDJ team who is also the president of the National Cycling League.

The runners are the first convinced. “I obviously hope we can race on the Tour: for me, my team, the sport and all the fans”, reacted the 2019 winner, the Colombian Egan Bernal. “Obviously there are more important things to deal with first, but as soon as there is no more danger and we are ready to move on, we would love the Tour to take place,” said his predecessor on the charts, the Welshman Geraint Thomas.

It would be a symbolic return of France

“As soon as there is no more danger”? This is the problem that arises for an event that attracts 10 to 12 million spectators on the roadsides each summer and generates the daily displacement of some 4,500 people. Even if voices were heard in the medical community for an outfit of the Tour during the summer. “The people who stay on the side of the roads to see the runners pass do not represent a danger”, estimated the Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst, Saturday at the Flemish TV channel Sporza. “On the other hand, social distancing is more problematic at the start and finish of stages, in VIP tents”.

For the French emergency physician Patrick Pelloux, who spoke to Francetvsport, “It is conceivable that the Tour de France will take place”. The significance of the event? “It would be a symbolic return of France.”


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