Quadruple Tour de France champion Chris Froome fears crowds during this year’s race

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The Tour, which was originally scheduled to start on June 27, has been postponed by the organizer, Amaury Sport Organization, to August 29 due to the pandemic.

Mass gatherings of more than 5,000 people were banned in France until September, the country registering more than 168,000 cases of coronavirus and 24,900 deaths.

The event is anchored in French culture and society and attracts millions of fans each year to travel the routes of the 21 stages of the Tour.

Froome, however, believes this could be the year that beats the trend by hosting the fanless event.

“Would the organizers be able to stop people from coming and gathering in large crowds? In theory, we can start the race without people standing on the roads and it can be broadcast on TV, “Froome said in a live Instagram chat with Old England. cricketer Kevin Pietersen on Sunday.

“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. “

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Chris Froome is four-time winner of the prestigious Tour de France.

French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu, however, poured cold water over the prospect that the event would take place behind closed doors.

“We will have to be patient, move carefully and not make overly ambitious plans. If things go even better in September, all the events on the calendar, like the Tour de France, Roland Garros or other major events could take place, “Maracineau told RMC Radio on Thursday.

“These two events require spectators: for the Roland Garros box office, for the joy and excitement of the Tour de France. They will only take place if the public is allowed to attend. They will not take place behind closed doors. »»

CNN contacted the ASO race organizer for comment.

The 34-year-old Froome missed last year’s race after sustaining career-threatening injuries in a high-speed crash while training for the Dauphine Criterium, but uses the delay to make up for the lost training time.

“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. “

When the Tour begins, Froome will have a history in sight with the Briton to a single victory in the record for the number of victories held by Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.

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