It looks likely that the Tour de France will still take place in 2021, despite French government restrictions on mass gatherings being extended until September.
It had been reported that the Tour was set to start two months late, on August 29.
The latest French government announcement regarding social distancing restrictions appeared to cast some doubt on that date, however.
But the French government has hinted that there could be some flexibility surrounding the world’s premier cycling race.
“The Tour de France has not been called into question,” said French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu.
“There will not be any large gatherings before September but with the Tour starting on 29 August, there could be adjustments. It is up to [organisers] ASO to make some suggestions.”
The Tour was originally scheduled to run from June 29 to July 17. Team Ineos rider Egan Bernal was set to defend his title.
Four-time Tour champion Chris Froome was also set to return to the race after missing the 2019 tour with injuries sustained during a high-speed crash.
The British rider broke his neck, femur, elbow, hip and ribs, but was looking forward to making his comeback in the Tour, which is set to start in Nice this year.
The Women’s version of the Tour de France, La Course by le Tour de France, has also been rescheduled.
It was originally intended for the women’s race to take place over one day on July 19 on the Champs Elysee in Paris.
It has been postponed, and, according to race organiser ASO, will now take place during the 2021 Tour de France. No more specific details than that have been provided as yet, however.
The Tour is not the only one of cycling’s major events to have been rescheduled.
The Vuelta a Espana has confirmed that its start date of August 14 has been cancelled. The race, which takes place predominately in Spain, was set to begin in the Netherlands this year.
The initial leg of the race, which was to start in Utrecht, has been altered. The race will now start in Spain’s Basque Country instead.
The third of the great Grand Tour races, the Giro d’Italia, is also awaiting a revised start date. It was originally intended to start in Hungary in May.
The Road World Championships look to be unaffected by the current health crisis, and have stayed in their original slot of September 20-27 in Switzerland.
The iconic one-day races, such as Milan-San Remo, Liege-Bastonge-Liege, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, will still take place this season, on dates to be confirmed, according to the UCI, cycling’s governing body.
Meanwhile, in the UK, the Tour de Yorkshire, which was set to start on April 29, in Beverley in the East Riding, does not look like taking place this year.
“The longer this goes on the more likely it is that it will be next year,” Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive James Mason said.