(Reuters) – Chris Froome, quadruple UK champion of the Tour de France, unsure whether organizers can prevent crowds from gathering in race postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic .
The tour, scheduled to start on June 27, has been postponed to August 29 due to the epidemic. Mass gatherings were banned in France until September, the country registering more than 168,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 24,000 deaths.
“Would the organizers be able to stop people from coming and gathering in large crowds? In theory, we can organize the race and it can be broadcast on TV, “said Froome in an Instagram chat with former English cricketer Kevin Pietersen.
“You would not get the same scenes as you would go through these tunnels of people everywhere and everything else.
“This may be the version of the race we need to see this year. I do not know. “
Froome, who won the Tour in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 and is one victory away from equaling the record held by Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain, is using the delay to make up for the training time that he lost after an accident last year.
34-year-old man spent more than three weeks in hospital after breaking his neck, femur, elbow, hip and ribs in a high-speed accident while training for Dauphine Criterium in June.
“Some days I do up to six hours sitting on the stationary trainer – big days,” said Froome.
“Much of the training I did was done indoors, so it almost prepared me for the whole lockdown period, and mentally, I am able to get through a little more easily. “
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)