The 2020 edition of the Tour de France is expected to be staged in August and September due to the coronavirus pandemic.
French president Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that no public event would take place in the country until mid-July as part of measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected over two million people worldwide.
The Tour de France was due to be held from June 27-July 19.
On Wednesday (Australian time), the International Cycling Union said it had rescheduled the event for August 29-September 20.
The UCI said Italy’s Giro and Spain’s Vuelta would follow the Tour in a revised calendar. The men’s road race at the world championships in Martigny, Switzerland, will go ahead as scheduled on September 27.
Le Tour de France will take place on the planned route, with no changes, from Nice to Paris, from Saturday 29th August to Sunday 20th September.
For more information ➡️ https://t.co/Ik9vmcp7sN#TDF2020 pic.twitter.com/0HSJLLYnXs
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) April 15, 2020
“Holding this event in the best conditions possible is judged essential given its central place in cycling’s economy and its exposure, in particular for the teams that benefit on this occasion from unparalleled visibility,” the UCI said.
“It’s a great joy, we were starting to get desperate,” France’s Julian Alaphilippe, who wore the yellow jersey in last year’s race, told the France 2 TV channel.
Priority had been given to the grands tours and the top one-day races, the sport’s governing body said, as it extended the suspension of elite cycle racing until August 1.
🗓2020 UCI International Road Calendar Update
— UCI (@UCI_cycling) April 15, 2020
“The Giro d’Italia will take place after the UCI Worlds and will be followed by the Vuelta Ciclista a Espana,” the UCI said.
“The most prestigious one-day road races (the Monuments), ie Milano-Sanremo (Italy), the Tour des Flandres (Belgium), Paris-Roubaix (France), Liege-Bastogne-Liege (Belgium) and Il Lombardia (Italy), will all take place this season, at dates still to be defined.”
Tour organisers said the women’s event, La Course by le Tour de France avec FDJ, would also be postponed to a date during the Tour de France 2020. It had been scheduled for July 19 on the Champs Elysées,
Equally, the 30th edition of the Etape du Tour cyclosportive, originally scheduled for July 5, will be held at a date yet to be determined.