French President Emmanual Macron has announced the nation’s coronavirus lockdown will be extended until May with no public gatherings, including major sporting events, allowed until mid-July.
This casts further doubt over the fate of the Tour de France, scheduled for June 26 to July 19, but the organisers have yet to make an official announcement.
According to Spanish sports newspaper La Marca, the Tour could be pushed back to August, with the Vuelta and the Giro also held later in the year.
Reports suggest that the Tour would be held from August 2 to 25, with all three Grand Tours being run over their usual three weeks.
The Giro d’Italia has already been postponed from its planned start on May 9 in Hungary because of the spread of coronavirus, but no new dates have yet been confirmed.
Meanwhile the Vuelta a España, scheduled to start in the Netherlands on August 14 has not yet been moved, but could be shifted back to allow for the other two Grand Tours to run.
Tour director Christian Prudhomme had set a deadline of May 15 to decide of his race will go ahead on its scheduled date, but the Macron’s announcement is likely to bring the decision forward.
Organiser of the Tour de France ASO reportedly contacted authorities in all departure and arrival locations for this year’s Tour to ask if the race could pass through their territories four weeks later than planned.
While France’s sports minister previously suggested the Tour could be run without the millions of fans lining the roads, Prudhomme has since shot down that idea. ASO has not yet made a decision on the fate of the Tour de France, but on April 2 Tour director Christian Prudhomme said he is working on rearranging the dates for the three-week race.