As the Tour de France approaches, both cycling fans and the pros will be wondering what the postponed edition will look like.
Throughout the coronavirus lockdown there has been speculation about the measures needed to keep spectators, staff, riders and media safe at the biggest bike race in the world.
But Tour director Christian Prudhomme has now offered an update on the safety measures that are likely to be put in place for fans and the peloton.
In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Periodico (opens in new tab), Prudhomme said: “There will surely be no kisses or hugs during official ceremonies. And one might think that it is certainly not the best year to collect autographs. The public may come to the Tour but there will be a filter. In the mountains, we will favour those who climb on foot, by bicycle or in the transport established by local communities.
“But, I repeat, the situation is changing day by day. We don’t how what it will look like in two months.”
Prudhomme added that the advertising caravan, a convoy of hundreds of vehicles promoting different companies that travels each stage ahead of the peloton, will be at 60 per cent of its previous size, due to the economic impact coronavirus has had on businesses.
The 2020 Tour de France was initially scheduled to start this coming Saturday (June 27), but the race was postponed because of the global pandemic.
Instead the race will now start in Nice on August 29 and finish in Paris on September 20, covering the same 21 stages that were already planned.
Prudhomme said that the health and safety measures will be cemented through July and August ready for the Grand Départ.
He added that there has been some small variation to the route, including shortening stage 14 from Clemont Ferrand to Lyon by 3km, but there are no major changes to the course expected.
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