Tour de France postponed, to be held from Aug 29-Sept 20

SHOWS:

PARIS, FRANCE (FILE - OCTOBER 15, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. TOUR DE FRANCE 2019 WINNER, EGAN BERNAL, WAVING AT AUDIENCE AND TAKING BOW DURING UNVEILING CEREMONY OF 2020 RACE ROUTE

2. TOUR DE FRANCE WINNERS ON STAGE

3. BERNAL AND MULTIPLE TOUR DE FRANCE WINNER, CHRIS FROOME, ON STAGE

4. WINNERS ON STAGE

5. FROOME AND BERNAL

6. SCREEN SHOWING MARKER ON NICE, START OF 2020 TOUR DE FRANCE

7. SCREEN SHOWING GRAPHIC OF ROUTE

8. TOUR DE FRANCE 2020 LOGO

9. SCREEN SHOWING ROUTE

CARDIFF, WALES, UNITED KINGDOM (APRIL 15, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

10. (SOUNDBITE) (English) 2018 TOUR DE FRANCE WINNER, GERAINT THOMAS, RESPONDING TO QUESTION ABOUT POSTPONING THE TOUR DE FRANCE AMID THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, SAYING:

"Yes definitely I would jump at the chance to do that. Obviously it's not ideal for races that sort of are around that time but at the same time the Tour kind of represents cycling really and if that can go ahead then that would be a huge success for the sport, you know, I think for all the teams, for the riders it would be really good so yes hopefully that can still happen."

11. WHITE FLASH

12. (SOUNDBITE) (English) 2018 TOUR DE FRANCE WINNER, GERAINT THOMAS, SAYING:

"I think so. I think if you had a poll and asked everyone like what race, you know, would you like to see go ahead - if it was between the Tour and something else then I would have thought the majority would go with the Tour because it just... it brings so much money into the sport , that's why a lot of the teams are in the sport, it's for that exposure they get during the Tour, so yes I think it's massive."

NICE, FRANCE (FILE - JANUARY 23, 2018) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

13. VARIOUS OF RIVIERA AND PROMENADE DES ANGLAIS

NICE, FRANCE (FILE - JULY 14, 2018) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

14. PEOPLE SEATED ON PROMENADE DES ANGLAIS

15. VARIOUS OF PEOPLE ON BEACH

16. BALCONY WITH POSTER WITH FRENCH FLAG AND READING (English): "I LOVE NICE"

PARIS, FRANCE (FILE - JULY 28, 2019) (REUTERS PICTURES - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)

17. STILL PHOTOGRAPH SHOWING TEAM INEOS RIDER EGAN BERNAL CELEBRATING AT FINISH HAVING WON THE 2019 TOUR DE FRANCE

18. STILL PHOTOGRAPH SHOWING BERNAL ON PODIUM WAVING WITH BOUQUET OF FLOWERS

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (FILE - JULY 5, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

19. VARIOUS OF BERNAL PREPARING FOR TRAINING WITH TEAM MATES

20. VARIOUS OF TEAM INEOS RIDER, GERAINT THOMAS TALKING TO TECHNICIANS

21. VARIOUS OF TEAM INEOS LEAVING FOR TRAINING

STORY: The Tour de France has been postponed to Aug. 29-Sept 20 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Wednesday (April 15).

French president Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that no public event would take place in the country until mid-July as part of measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected over two million people worldwide.

The Tour de France was due to be held from June 27-July 19.

The UCI added that Italy's Giro and Spain's Vuelta would follow the Tour in a revised calendar and the men's road race at the world championships in Martigny, Switzerland, would go ahead as scheduled on Sept 27.

"The Tour de France is postponed and will take place this year from 29 August to 20 September," the UCI said in a statement.

"Holding this event in the best conditions possible is judged essential given its central place in cycling's economy and its exposure, in particular for the teams that benefit on this occasion from unparalleled visibility."

Priority has been given to the grands tours and the top one-day races, the sport's governing body said as it extended the suspension of elite racing until Aug. 1.

"I think if you had a poll and asked everyone what race would you like to see go ahead - if it was between the Tour and something else then I would have thought the majority would go with the Tour because it brings so much money into the sport," Geraint Thomas, the 2018 Tour winner, told Reuters.

"That's why a lot of the teams are in the sport, it's for that exposure they get during the Tour. So yes I think it's massive."

(Production: Tim Hart and Ursa Presern)

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