The most prestigious cycling event in the world, Tour de France, has been officially postponed. The race was initially scheduled to hold between the 27 of June to 19 of July. Instead, it would now hold from August to September.
This is one of the biggest sporting events of the year to be rescheduled as a result of the coronavirus, like the Wimbledon Grand Slam and the Olympic Games, which was moved to 2022.
The Tour de France takes place in France but riders occasionally pass through neighbouring countries. The riders cover over 3500km over a course of 23 days. Teams from across the world take part in the event though most of them are UCI teams, due to the fact that the race is a UCI World Tour Event.
But organisers of the event send invitations to other teams outside the UCI. The race begins in the city of Nice and would end at the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
The postponement was necessary after the French government announced the extension of the ban on large gatherings well into July, due to the pandemic. Initially, everyone thought the race would be cancelled and there was already speculations concerning that on Tuesday.
However, organisers of the event, Amaury Sport Organisation, came out on Wednesday with the news that the event would now take place between the 29th of August and 20th of September. The news was welcomed with excitement by so many racing fans, including Chris Froome, who has won the event four times.
Since the inception of the tour in 1903, it has held every year, except during the world wars, when it had to be cancelled. Now, it would only be rescheduled to a time when it would be possible for sport activities to hold. Already, the UCI had modified its 2020 calendar, extending it to November to accommodate rescheduled races.
The end of the season is tightly packed with other races like the Grand Tour, the Vuelta a Espana, and the World Championships. The calendar would have to be further adjusted to give enough time for these races to hold.
Written by: Leon Osamor