After a meeting organized by the Union CyclisteInternationale this Wednesday, April 15, Amaury Sport Organization made the Tour de France’s postponement to new dates official. For the first time since the Second World War, there will therefore be no Tour in July and the event willeventually take place from August 29 to September 20. Holding the Tour in its original spot was no longer conceivable after the speech by the French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday April 13, forbidding the large gatherings “at least” until mid-July. In addition to the Tour de France, the UCI took the opportunity to confirm a reorganization of the cycling calendar for the second part of the season, which will then have to include the two other Grand Tours (Giro and Vuelta) as well as the five Monuments. A first version of this condensed calendar should be delivered in the coming weeks.
“It’s a relief”, David Gaudu
In the meantime, the Groupama-FDJ cycling team’s riders can be delighted about the first announcements, as Rudy Molard and David Gaudu express it, especially regarding the Tour de France. “This is excellent news, which really cheers us up,”says an enthusiastic Rudy. “It is also a positive signal for all French people and a message of hope for the whole world. From a personal point of view, this is probably the only time in my life that I will be able to celebrate my birthday during a Tour stage. I’ll have to make the most of it“. “It’s good news that we can do the Tour de France, it’s the showcase of our season,” adds David. “It’s a relief, but it’s going to start two months later than expected, and we’ll have to hang on until then.”
More than four months before the start in Nice, it is not yet time to panic. “It doesn’t change much for the current training, we’re going to continue riding on the trainers,” explains David. “The end of August is still very far, even though it might come quite quickly. We will have to prepare all this with the team and the coaches”. “On the short term, training won’tbe shaken up,” says Rudy, who hopes to be able to return to his training roads in a month time. “Our sport can be practiced while respecting health instructions so I hope we’ll be able to train outdoors from May 11. It will be necessary if we want the French riders to be at 100% on the Tour. We now have a clear objective and we will be able to lay the foundations for the preparation in order to get to August in top shape. Mentally, it makes a huge difference.”
“Let’s not forget the rest”, Marc Madiot
Team manager Marc Madiot was also pleased with the latest announcements, but did not forget to raise some concerns. “From a health point of view, I think that ASO tried to minimize the risks by placing the race as far as possible from the end of the lockdown, in order to be sure of succeeding. It will also make it possible to place preparation races […] TheTour yes, but not just the Tour. I am worried about the teams, about the organizers. The big races and the big teams will survive without too much damage, but we also need the rest. The pyramid must be protected at all levels, otherwise everything can collapse. It is good news that Tour will be maintained, because it is the keystone, but let’s not forget the rest, otherwise we are heading for disaster”.