By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
It has been announced, on 15 April 2020, by the World Governing Body of cycling (UCI) that this year’s Tour de France has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This iconic sporting event was scheduled to take place from 27 June to 19 July and is now rescheduled to take place between 29 August and 20 September.
This postponement follows the announcement, made in a televised address to the Nation on 13 April 2020, by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, that the current ban on all public gatherings in France during the present ‘lockdown’, which has been extended until 11 May 2020, when the restrictions are expected to be gradually eased, will, in fact, be extended until mid-July. France, to date, has registered more than 15,000 deaths due to the pandemic.
It had been suggested that the Tour might take place during the scheduled dates ‘behind closed doors’ but this has been dismissed by the Tour Director, Christina Prudhomme.
However, he said that the event would respect any ‘social distancing’ measures still in force in France in late Summer. But how that would be achieved remains to be seen, if, in fact, the event goes ahead on the rescheduled dates.
We are, indeed, living in very strange and most challenging times!
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’