The world’s most prestigious cycling race, the Tour de France, has been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Cyclists will now pedal their way across France in August and September instead of June and July as initially planned.
The delay comes after French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday that events gathering a large audience would have to be delayed until at least the middle of July due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that has killed thousands in France.
“The organisers of the Tour de France are in regular contact with and have reached agreement with all of the different parties involved, from the local communities to the public authorities,” the event organisers said in a statement posted to their website.
The tour was originally planned to start at the end of June and finish in July. It is now planned to begin in Nice on August 29 and end in Paris on September 20. The event has never started so late in the year.
The route will remain unchanged.
It’s not the first sporting event to be delayed since the beginning of the crisis. The 2020 Olympics are now set to take place in 2021.
France’s tennis federation had previously delayed Roland Garros, the French Open, to the fall.
“We all hope that the 2020 Tour de France will help to turn the page on the difficult period that we are currently experiencing,” the organisers said.