Tour de France calls off June start amid coronavirus

Tour de France calls off June start amid coronavirus
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The Tour de France has been postponed from its late-June start date, adding to the growing list of events affected by concerns about the coronavirus.

French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronPresidents and 'presidents' Trump postpones G-7, plans to invite Russia, other nations German chancellor says she 'cannot confirm' she'll attend possible G7 summit MORE announced the decision in a speech Monday, adding that all public events drawing huge crowds have been canceled until mid-July, at the least, according to The Associated Press.

"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," race organizers said Tuesday.

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The Tour de France has not been canceled since 1946, when the nation withdrew the event due to recovery reasons after World War II.

Officials with the event are unsure whether it will still happen this year, citing that holding the race without roadside fans in attendance is not ideal for the organizers, according to the report.

This year's race would feature 21 stages, with the longest stretch lasting 218 kilometers (135 miles). The race usually requires thousands of police officers on duty to control crowds and pave safe passages for cyclists.

Other concerns for holding the race include rider preparedness, as competitors would most likely need more time to athletically prepare after weeks of confinement due to quarantine restrictions related to the virus.

France would also have to reopen its borders to allow international competitors to compete, such as last year's winner, Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal.

Organizers are also worried about clashing with other major world tournaments if the Tour de France were to be rescheduled.

If the race gets placed after the Spanish Vuelta in September, it could conflict with the rescheduled French Open tennis tournament. The Grand Slam tournament at Roland Garros typically held in late May or June has been pushed to Sept. 20-Oct. 4