After the Euro football tournament and the Tokyo Olympics, the Tour de France remains the last of the giant sporting events to remain standing. But the coronavirus pandemic still worries as much within a hundred days of the departure, scheduled for June 27 in Nice.
Euro 2020, 2020 olympics… All the major competitions on the sports calendar fall one after the other. All of them? No ! Because a country populated by irreducible Gallic resists the coronavirus … and maintains the Tour de France. But for how long? The sport is at a standstill, the Great Loop suspended.
The Giro, which was due to leave Hungary on May 9, is one of the first events to be missed. Since its creation in 1903, the Tour de France was only stopped in wartime. The Olympics too. But that was before. And then the President of the Republic said and even repeated, “we are at war”.
Bardet dreams of a “unifying” Tour
“The question is inevitable. Will he be able to hold on? The conditions seem to me to be totally different for the Tour, compared to the Olympic Games,” said Romain Bardet. The climber of the AG2R La Mondiale group wants to believe in the continuation of the festivities, so that everyone can celebrate with joy a possible return to normal by the start of the Grande Boucle on June 27 in Nice.
“It seems less utopian to organize it if the pandemic is controlled in France, he adds. And it would be a good sign if we could organize the Tour de France in July, we would have a somewhat unifying event for everyone to meet around an event that is in the heritage of the French. But it is still far too early to say. I am hopeful that there will be a way out of the crisis anyway. “
A Tour without spectators?
The organizers of the Tour de France, extremely discreet in recent weeks, are working on the organization of a race maintained on the scheduled dates. Even if it means keeping only the sporting aspect, to the detriment of spectators traditionally gathered on the side of the roads to encourage the runners of the peloton. A Tour de France without an audience would necessarily have less flavor.
“It seems complicated that the Tour can be held completely normally, says Romain Bardet, however. There is the question of borders and the reception of the public. I can hardly imagine that the Tour 2020 could be identical to the one that we lived last year in terms of physical presence and spectators on the side of the roads. There are barely 200 runners at the start, it may be possible that it will take place. ”