The Tour de France has become the latest major sporting event to be affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
On Monday French President Emmanuel Macron announced that large gatherings would be banned until at least mid-July, putting an end to hope the event could still be staged in June.
The three-week tour will now be held from 29 August, according to French media, meaning it would end on the Champs Elysee at the same time as the newly rearranged French Open tennis tournament only a few miles away.
Event organisers have not yet commented on the reports of a new date, but local authorities in the Haute-Savoie region, which hosts some of the final stages of the race, have tweeted to say the event will pass through on 17 September, seemingly corroborating media reports.
However, Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), the event organisers, said earlier on Tuesday: “Given that it’s now impossible that the Tour starts at its planned date, we are consulting with the [International Cycling Union] to try and find new dates.”
The race has a global following, and millions of fans line the roads during the event – something which may have to be looked at when the new dates are confirmed.
There are also concerns that borders into France, which are largely closed off, would need to be reopened, so that riders from around the world would be able to compete.
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The Giro d’Italia, a cycling race through Italy, was scheduled to begin in May, but was cancelled by organisers last month, with the Spanish version of the race still down to start in September.
Last year’s Tour de France was won by Egan Bernal from Colombia, with the UK’s Geraint Thomas the runner up.