Tour de France could be staged this summer without any spectators squib

  • Sports minister exploring ways of scaling event down
  • Decision on go ahead likely to be made by 1 May

Professional cycling reacted with a mix of cautious optimism and scepticism after the French sports minister, Roxana Maracineau, confirmed that together with the Tour de France organisers ASO, her officials were exploring ways of running a scaled down Tour with restrictions on spectator access this summer even though the country is currently in lockdown to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

With the Olympic Games and Euro 2020 already cancelled, the Tour is one of very few major events remaining – for the time being – on this summer’s sporting calendar. Reports on Thursday suggested that a deadline of 1 May seems likely for a decision on the Tour, because it will be clear by then whether the outbreak has peaked in France, and because that would give a clear two months for cyclists to prepare for the race. A representative of ASO contacted by the Guardian said the company had no comment to make.

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