Geraint Thomas says loss of 2020 Tour de France would affect livelihoods

The 2018 Tour winner says the result may not matter, but the event does

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Geraint Thomas says the loss of the 2020 Tour de France would affect livelihoods in the cycling world.

The Team Ineos rider and former Tour winner said he understands why Tour organiser ASO would opt to postpone this year’s event due to coronavirus, but fears the impact it would have on cycling’s fragile economy.

In an interview with The Telegraph newspaper (opens in new tab), Thomas also said a Tour de France held without the fans wouldn’t be the same event.

The 33-year-old said: “I just want to race my bike again, so in that sense I’d love it to be on, but only if it was safe to do so.

"But on the other hand there are 20-odd teams, and companies invested in those teams, and if it went there [could be] quite a few people left unemployed. So while the result itself doesn’t matter, the event does because there are a lot of livelihoods wrapped up in it.”

 

The entire cycling calendar has been upended by the global coronavirus crisis, with dozens of races cancelled or postponed, as the UCI has suspended the cycling calendar for the foreseeable future.

ASO has not yet made a decision on the fate of the Tour de France, but the Olympics, scheduled for around the same time this summer, has already been postponed until 2021.

This weekend, ASO is looking to make a decision on the Tour by May 1.

>>> New dates for Tokyo Olympics clash with 2021 Tour de France 

Last week, French minister of sport Roxana Maracineanu suggested the Tour could still be run for the benefit of TV, but without the millions of fans lining the streets.

Thomas said “it wouldn’t be the Tour without the fans” and added that it would be much harder to impose restrictions, like those that were put in place at Paris-Nice.

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Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.