The fate of the 2020 Tour de France hangs by a thread after this summer’s biggest sporting events have already been cancelled.
But could the biggest race on the cycling calendar still go ahead behind closed doors?
French Minister of Sports Roxana Maracineanu has suggest the Tour could still be run for the benefit of TV, but without the millions of fans lining the roads.
According to French newspaper L’Equipe, Maracineanu said: “The economic model of the Tour de France is not based on ticketing but on TV rights.
“In this period of confinement, everyone is aware and responsible. Everyone understands the benefits of staying at home and therefore favouring the television show rather than seeing it live. Finally, it would not be so bad since we could follow [the Tour] on television.”
Tour de France organiser ASO has not yet made a decision on the fate of the 2020 edition, which is scheduled to start in Nice on June 27, finishing in Paris on July 19.
But this summer’s biggest sporting events – the Olympics and the Euros – have already been postponed because of the spread of coronavirus.
The cycling calendar has also been fully suspended by the UCI until at least April 3, as the world tries to slow the spread of Covid-19, with most races been postponed up until June, including the Giro d’Italia.
International governing body the UCI is working on rescheduling the cancelled races later this year, extending the season up until November 1, with priority given to the Monuments and the Grand Tours.
The UCI is planning to extend the end of the season from October 20, as well as allowing flexibility in the number of riders in each team and potentially overlapping the three Grand Tours.