Tour of Britain race director said he would be 'staggered' if Tour de France goes ahead

Mick Bennett also said he hopes to run the Tour of Britain, even if it's a shorter version

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The organiser of the Tour of Britain has said he would be “staggered” if the Tour de France goes ahead this year.

Mick Bennett, director for the week-long British stage race, said he hopes the Tour de France does go ahead this year, but has doubts about whether it can run due to logistics and travel during the coronavirus crisis.

Bennett added that he hopes to run his race, the Tour of Britain, later this year if he can start organising soon.

According to the PA news agency, Bennett said: “I would be totally staggered if the Tour de France goes ahead.

“Staggered, but in a positive way if it happens. It's three weeks long and a global event, so much more so than the Tour of Britain, in terms of the logistics, number of people on the race and the travel involved with people coming from across the world and areas with different levels of restrictions."

The Tour de France had been due to start in Nice in late June, but organiser ASO opted to push the event back due to coronavirus, with the race now scheduled to begin on August 29.

Cycling’s international governing body the UCI is set to release a new schedule for the pro cycling calendar this week after suspending all racing in March, with pro racing expected to return on August 1 with Strade Bianche.

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The Tour of Britain is currently still scheduled to start on September 6 and run over eight stages, but Bennett expects the race may have to be altered due to the upheaval.

He said that the fate of the race is not yet clear, but that the organisers would need “boots on the ground” by the middle of June to feasibly put the race together in time.

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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 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.