Christian Prudhomme has said he expects Paris-Roubaix to be cancelled, following in the footsteps of most other races in the near future as the world attempts to curtail the spread of coronavirus.
“All sports are currently being cancelled,” the director of the Tour de France told radio station RMC. “I don’t think much will change in April. And that makes perfect sense.”
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Prudhomme’s words echo those of Belgian sports minister Ben Weyts who yesterday said he didn’t think the Tour of Flanders, scheduled to take place a week before Paris-Roubaix, was “realistic”.
“Let’s be honest, I don’t think it will be feasible,” Prudhomme continued. “There is a chance but we also have to show a sense of responsibility. Cycling is no different from the rest.”
Prudhomme is, however, more confident that the Tour de France will still go ahead as planned, the Frenchman pointing out there are still 100 days to go until the start on June 27.
“It is still more than a hundred days until the start of the Tour. The hunger for the race will be immense once activities are resumed,” Prudhomme said.
If the Tour de France is the first race back after the coronavirus break, the start in Nice will be the location of the final race before the run of cancelled events. Nairo Quintana won the final stage of Paris-Nice as Max Schachmann hung on to claim the overall victory.
The coronavirus has already claimed one Grand Tour this year, with RCS Sport postponing May’s Giro d’Italia, following the cancellation of their Italian March races, including Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan – San Remo.
They will now work with the UCI to try and find space in the calendar once the coronavirus outbreak has subsided, with the less busy autumn period being one option currently under consideration.