The Mayor of Nice says he no longer wants Paris-Nice 2021 to finish on the famous Promenade des Anglais, because he wants the seafront to be open to residents.
Stage eight, the final stage of the race, is currently set to start and finish around on the seafront of Nice this coming Sunday (March 14), but the race organisers, ASO, may have to rethink the finale to their race after comments by the city's mayor, Christian Estrosi.
Estrosi tweeted on Wednesday evening (March 10) that he has been discussing what to do about the lockdown in Nice with his scientific advisors, and they came to the conclusion that they want the Promenade des Anglais open to the public to walk and cycle.
He said: "I underline the effort of the people of Nice during the previous two weekends, which made it possible to obtain a downward curve of the incident rate, which should result in a drop in hospital pressure within eight to 10 days.
"This decision being necessary, I wanted to take initiatives to allow the people of Nice to cross this new weekend: open the promenade des Anglais to pedestrians and cyclists.
"For more consistency, I also request the cancellation of the arrival of Paris-Nice as scheduled."
In late February, authorities along the French Riviera announced strict weekend lockdowns in the hopes of quickly reducing the spread of coronavirus.
Residents were only allowed to leave their home for one hour a day and had to remain within 5km of their homes between Friday and Monday.
The restrictions have now been extended for another two weeks, but Estrosi said he hopes residents will be able to leave their hour for three hours, rather than one.
ASO are still keen on making it to the Mediterranean with Christian Prudhomme saying: "We are very hopeful that we will reach the French Riviera this time in Paris-Nice,
"The [COVID-19] figures in the Alpes Maritimes are moving in the right direction. We remain calm about it. If it turns out differently, we will adapt."
If the final stage does not finish in Nice it would be the second year in a row that the race failed to get there after the final stage in 2020 was cancelled due to the dangers around Covid-19 in the city.
Paris-Nice continues on stage five of eight with a pan-flat stage that is likely to see a bunch sprint before heading to the hills and mountains that will see the race overall decided.
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