The International Cycling Union (UCI) on Wednesday announced that the Tour de France, originally scheduled from June 27-July 19 has been put back from August 29 to September 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Holding this event in the best conditions possible is judged essential given its central place in cycling’s economy,” said the sport’s governing body.
The decision was made following a meeting between the UCI and the representatives from the organizer Amaury Sport Organisation.
French president Emmanuel Macron on Monday announced 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.
The Tour joined the Tokyo Olympic Games, football’s European Championship and the tennis French Open and Wimbledon Open, as the latest world major sports events affected by the coronavirus.
It will be the first time since the end of the Second World War that the world famous cycling championship will not take place in July.
French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu said in March that a Tour without roadside spectators is a possibility, but it was not acceptable by the organizers.
The race route is over 3,000km long, with over 10 million fans lining the roads last year. Enditem