Coronavirus pandemic forces date change
The 2020 Tour de France has been rescheduled. The annual bicycle race will now begin on August 29 and conclude on September 20. This decision follows the French government extending the ban on mass gatherings until mid-July because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The UCI, the sport’s governing body, was quick to note that there could be further scheduling changes as the “world health situation” develops.
decision follows the French government extending the ban on mass gatherings until mid-July
The biggest event in cycling was set to start on June 27 and continue until July 19. La Course, the women’s version of the event, was set to take place on a single day on July 19 at the Champs-Élysées in France. This race is also going to be rescheduled for some time during the men’s Tour de France.
Other changes to the cycling calendar
The other Grand Tour races that take place over three weeks have also been rescheduled. The sport’s governing body, UCI, wants to ensure that all major races take place this year.
The Giro d’Italia, which was set to start in May, and the Vuelta a España, originally scheduled for a September start date, will now take place after the World Championships in September.
As of now, the World Championships in Switzerland will go ahead on its originally scheduled date of September 20 and finish on September 27. This will mean that the Tour de France will now end on the start date of the World Championships.
Notable one-day races that have been postponed, such as the Tour of Flanders, Liege-Bastonge-Liege, and Milan-San Remo will all be rescheduled at some point in the future.
UCI president expresses concern
The president of the UCI, David Lappartient, addressed the scheduling issues in a statement. He said:
We still have work to do to finalize the establishment of an entirely revised calendar.”
The governing body is going through issues internally amid this pandemic. It was on April 10 that the body furloughed staff and dropped the salaries of its senior employees.
Numerous high-profile sporting events have also been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, such as the Tokyo Olympics and Euro 2020. Others have been completely canceled for the year, including Wimbledon.