The Giro d’Italia and the spring classics have all been postponed because COVID-19 saw all races suspended until June at the earliest.The Tour de France was due to start in Nice on June 27, but organizers have already considered pushing it back a month, while others consider it too ambitious to expect racing to return this summer.
Speaking on the BBC World Service Newsday program, Ryder stressed the importance of holding the Tour – which is comfortably the most important race for sponsors, given its size – and hoped that it could still be held in the summer.
“We just hope that, at the end of June, the Tour de France can still take place – it is essential for us as teams that this happens this year,” he said.
“With the Olympic Games spanning a year – which I think is the right decision because people have trained and prepared for so long – it is difficult, but the Tour de France could potentially release some weeks and still occur in July.
“So we have hope that it could still happen and May 15 is the date they announced when they will make the call. So let’s hope it’s the right call and hope we can still run around France in July. ” “
No Tour de France could realistically be synonymous with ruin for a certain number of teams, although the impact of the pandemic is already being felt. Riders from Lotto Soudal, Astana, Bahrain McLaren and Mitchelton-Scott have all suffered cutbacks or salary deferrals, while a number of non-overlapping staff have been put on leave and some sponsors threaten to turn off the tap.
No such action has yet been taken at NTT, but Ryder noted the pressure from all the teams and the pending game to see when the race can resume.
“In cycling, we depend a hundred percent on sponsorship, so cycling can really take a big hit and potentially he could be in trouble,” he said.
“And some teams are suffering a lot and have taken drastic decisions to try and maintain and maintain their sustainability in the sport. So it’s a very, very, very difficult time at this point.
“We are very fortunate that with NTT and our main sponsors are trying to do the right thing and try to support us in every way possible. At the moment, we are waiting and there are many conversations with the UCI – the governing body of world cycling – to understand when the season will start, because the longer it goes, the more difficult it is to return feedback to our sponsors. “