Another big sporting event has been hit with the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Associated Press (per USA Today), the Tour de France has been postponed after weeks of holding out hope that it might happen. The three-week cycling event was scheduled to start on June 27 in the Rivera City of Nice. Officials said the race still could happen, but they haven't set new dates.
French President Emmanuel Marcon made the decision on Monday when he announced all public events with large crowds have been canceled until mid-July. Race organizers are working hard to set a new date for the Tour de France, as they said: "Given that it's now impossible that the Tour starts at its planned date, we are consulting with the (International Cycling Union) to try and find new dates."
The last time the Tour de France was not held was in 1946, with the country emerging from World War II. The race was also stopped during World War I. It's possible new dates could be set buy the end of April. But even if that happens, will fans be able to watch the race? It was an idea French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu proposed, but organizers were not in favor of it.0comments
The Tour de France is one of the races in the world, as it includes 21 states and it stretches 218 kilometers (135 miles). Last year, Egan Bernal won the Tour de France, making him the first Latin American cyclist to win the race. A few months after the win, Bernal said to Cycling Weekly: "I would like to return, obviously, because I would like to defend the title, but it is clear that there are more factors. Let's see what the team decides and what Dave [Brailsford] thinks. I'm looking forward to it but I am also aware that there are other prestigious races…we will make the decision together."
The postponement of the Tour de France is one of the many sporting events during the spring and summer that have been called off or canceled. In the U.S., events such as The Masters and the Kentucky Derby have been pushed back until the fall. The NBA has been suspended for over a month, and the start of the baseball season has been delayed.