The Tour de France has officially announced the new dates for the 2020 race, as the UCI has revealed a new calendar for the racing season.
While Tour organiser ASO had hoped to wait until May to make a decision on postponing the event, French president Emmanuel Macron announced that all sporting events would be banned until at least mid-July, meaning the Tour had to be reorganised.
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On Wednesday (April 15), ASO confirmed that the Tour will start in Nice on August 29 and will finish in Paris on September 20, following the originally scheduled 21-stage route.
The race had been scheduled to start on June 28.
A statement from the organisers said: “Following the President’s address on Monday evening, where large-scale events were banned in France until mid-July as a part of the fight against the spread of Covid-19, the organisers of the Tour de France, in agreement with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), have decided to postpone the Tour de France to Saturday, August 29 to Sunday, September 20 2020.”
The UCI has also released an outline of its plans to reschedule other races that have been cancelled because of coronavirus.
While the UCI international calendar has been postponed until July 1, WorldTour racing will not restart until August 1.
According to the new calendar, the World Championships will take place in Switzerland on their scheduled dates of September 20-27, which means the elite men’s time trial will clash with the final stage of the Tour de France. The Giro d’Italia will take place after the Worlds and will then be followed by the Vuelta a España.
The calendar of National Championships, usually held in June, will be run on the weekend of August 22-23.
The Monuments – Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia – will all be run this season, with the dates yet to be confirmed, the UCI said.
UCI president David Lappartient said: “I would like to pay tribute to the representatives of the organisers, teams and riders for their collaboration and their commitment in these difficult times. We still have work to do to finalise the establishment of an entirely revised 2020 UCI International Calendar given the coronavirus pandemic that has shaken the world, but a first very important step has been taken today.
“Likewise, we have established a framework that will allow the fundamental rights of teams’ riders and staff to be preserved, while enabling the measures necessary for the survival of these teams to be taken. Together, we will manage to get through this crisis and rebuild cycling post-Covid-19.”