The postponed Tour de France 2020 presents new health measures

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Despite the delayed start date, it is very likely that the 107th edition of the tour will follow the same route as originally planned. It will start in Nice and end on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.There had been uncertainty as to whether the race would continue due to the Covid-19 crisis, but as borders and public events begin to reopen, nothing suggests that the race so far risks be canceled.

Read more: Will the Tour de France 2020 take place in August?

However, there is still uncertainty as to exactly how it will unfold, depending on the evolution of the health situation.

Two scenarios are envisaged: first, a generally normal race; or second, the one who will be largely forced in the event of a restart of the Covid-19 epidemic in France.

New security measures this year

It has already been confirmed that runners will have as little contact with the public as possible, and it is difficult to know which part of the route will be open to spectators. Runners will not be allowed to mix with the public, give autographs or take selfies.

The cars, additional vehicles and floats that usually surround the peloton will still be there, but there will be almost 40% fewer vehicles than usual.

Normally, around 10 million people go out to trace the route of the Tour, but this year, it is not known how many people will brave the health rules to support the riders, especially since a large part of the route will take place. unusual way after schools have already started a new academic year (“the start of the school year”).

Similarly, the many supporters who travel to France from further afield may find it difficult to fly abroad, depending on the flight and travel restrictions still in effect.

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The media and press will also be kept at a distance and will not be allowed to surround runners with microphones for pre- and post-race interviews as they would otherwise in “normal” years.

Likewise, during stage podium ceremonies, riders and laureates will not be allowed to kiss (“kiss“), As they would normally do.

It will also be the first time that the Tour will host male and female podiums.

Enthusiasm and prudence

Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, said news source France 2: “What is certain is that it will not be the best year to get an autograph with a champion, it is clear.

“On the other hand, it will be the biggest cycling competition in the world, and there will be – I am sure – a lot of enthusiasm, but of course, all within the limits of the health rules that will be in place in late August and early September. ”

Announcements regarding the exact race arrangements were intentionally vague, said Prudhomme, to prevent the organizers from having to make changes and contradictory plans.

He said sports news site the team: “We immediately agreed that we should say as little as possible because we could not afford to be contradicted the next day by events that we could not control. We could not go from adjournment to adjournment, the logistics of the Tour did not allow it. We only had one hit! ”

And while most of the route is expected to remain the same as originally planned, many stages have had their dates postponed from the middle of summer to the later, less important September days.

Jean-Pierre Barbier, president of Isère (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), was previously proud of the arrival of July 14 in the region for the 16th stage, but this date is now postponed to September 15.

Despite this, Mr. Barbier remains enthusiastic about the importance of the Tour.

He said riding magazine Cycling Weekly: “We must admit that we had dreamed a lot about this July 14; we could hardly have had a better date.

“But I was reassured when [Tour director] Christian Prudhomme said very early on that the Tour could not take place behind closed doors. It was unimaginable.

“Even in September, we will make it the most beautiful party possible. Our economy needs it. People need it. “

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