Unique Tour de France almost ready to roll | Illawarra Mercury

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The 107th Tour de France will be an edition like no other. Runners will register with face masks in front of very small crowds, running under the imminent threat that they may not make it to Paris at all in these unique times. The Tour is and has long been extremely symbolic for France. The only years it hasn’t happened since its debut in 1903 were during the World Wars. He has otherwise continued through security threats, protests and more in a way meant to reflect the nation he represents. It does this as a celebration of a sport that can come to its spectators, rather than the other way around. The greatest asset of cycling is that it uses the world’s most spectacular scenery as a stadium. But in these times, it is also its weakness. Creating anything that looks like a biosecurity bubble is impossible for this vast rolling circus. And so when the riders leave Nice on Saturday morning, Paris will rarely have felt so far away. According to the protocols issued by the ASO organizers, the race will continue even if there is a positive test within the peloton but the teams have been warned that two positive tests within their camp during the race would force their entire team to be withdrawn and sent home. What is not clear is how much the continuation of the race itself would be in question. A fascinating battle for yellow is expected to unfold, but not the one that was planned. When the race resumed, the Ineos team – which will race as Ineos Grenadiers in France – were testing a three-headed monster of Egan Bernal, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, all of them former winners. Meanwhile, Jumbo-Visma was ready to counter with Primoz Roglic, Tom Dumoulin and Steven Kruijswijk. But then Ineos dropped the bombshell that Froome and Thomas would stay home due to lack of form. Then their Dutch rivals lost Kruijswijk to a shoulder injury, before Roglic suffered a serious accident at the Criterium du Dauphine to leave questions about his fitness. Without Froome and without Thomas, it is the first Tour in a decade without a British candidate. Instead, the race is more likely to dance to the tune of the Colombian national anthem as Rigoberto Uran, Daniel Martinez, Sergio Higuita, Nairo Quintana and Miguel Angel Lopez line up to challenge defending champion Bernal. Thibaut Pinot will carry the weight of French hopes, 35 years after Bernard Hinault was the last winner at home. Australian Associated Presshttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd.net/transform/v1/crop/frm/silverstone-feed-data/2eb238da-f5ad-4c02-b1cc-c8b49aa48117.jpg/r0_74_800_526_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg



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