PARIS – The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced Wednesday that the Tour de France, originally scheduled from June 27 to July 19, has been postponed from August 29 to September 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Organizing this event in the best possible conditions is considered essential given its central place in the cycling economy,” said the sport’s governing body.
The decision was taken after a meeting between the UCI and the representatives of the organizer Amaury Sport Organization.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced Monday the extension of a strict lock in France until at least May 11. Public gatherings are prohibited until mid-July, making it impossible to continue the race as planned.
The Tour joined the Tokyo Olympic Games, the European Football Championship and the French Tennis Open and the Wimbledon Open, as the last major world sporting events affected by the coronavirus.
It will be the first time since the end of World War II that the world famous cycling world championship will not be held in July.
French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu said in March that a tour without spectators at the side of the road was a possibility, but that it was not acceptable to the organizers.
The course is over 3,000 km long, with more than 10 million fans lining up on the roads last year.