Tour de France starts amid coronavirus concerns

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The 107th edition of the Tour de France started today (August 29) in Nice, but it was far from normal.The world’s largest cycling race was scheduled to run from June 27 to July 19 but was delayed for two months due to the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus. This year’s event will also involve new security measures which include limited crowds, mandatory masks and runner contact restrictions.

Nice was recently placed the ‘red zone’ by Prime Minister Jean Castex, which means that the virus is actively circulating in the region. This has led to concerns, reported by national and international media, that the tour may not make it to Paris this year, where it is supposed to end.

Mr Castex played down those concerns, telling reporters on Thursday: “We have taken many health precautions and protocols and I remind you that this is an outdoor event.

“The places where the virus spreads and where there is transmission have no organization. The tour has an organizer, ”he says.

This year’s race will see a total of 176 riders – straddling 22 different teams – compete for the coveted yellow jersey.

The yellow jersey (yellow jersey), is worn by the rider who sits at the top of the general classification. This means they have the best time on all stages. So in theory a rider doesn’t have to win a stage on the circuit to be crowned champion, he just has to have the lowest time on all stages.

The runners will sail through six regions and 32 departments of France while winding from the south coast to Paris. They will also stop in 12 new towns.

They will travel through the five major mountain ranges of metropolitan France: the Alps, the Massif Central, the Pyrenees, the Jura and the Vosges.

Earlier this week, meteorologists predicted the possibility of thunderstorms at the weekend, which could put a damper on the opening days of the race.

The first stage is a 156 km route around the hills of Nice, starting and ending in the heart of the city. Two more stages will take place around Nice on Sunday and Monday before the tour moves to Sisteron.

It is due to end on the Champs-Élysées in Paris on September 20.

Find out more about the Tour de France:

Masks and no selfies: the coronavirus plan of the Tour de France

Truth: pedal bikes were invented in France

The 2021 Tour de France will start from Brest, not Copenhagen



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