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Froome welcomes rescheduled Tour dates

 

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Chris Froome

Chris Froome

PA

Chris Froome

The Tour de France has been postponed by two months due to the coronavirus pandemic as world governing body the UCI unveiled the first details of plans to reschedule the road cycling calendar.

The 107th edition of the Tour was due to begin in Nice on June 27 and conclude in Paris on July 19, but the opening stage will now take place on August 29 with the finale on September 20.

Four-time Tour winner Chris Froome, who has made returning to the race the focal point of his comeback from career-threatening injuries suffered last summer, welcomed the news via Twitter as "some light at the end of the tunnel".

Following several weeks of discussions with local authorities due to host stages, the race will take place on the planned route with no changes, beginning on the French Riviera before heading for the Pyrenees and with the battle for yellow reaching a climax in the Alps.

Postponement of the race became inevitable on Monday when French president Emmanuel Macron announced there could be no mass gatherings in the country until mid-July.

Organiser ASO said: "We would like to thank all of the cycling stakeholders, Tour partners, its broadcasters in 190 countries, as well as all the authorities concerned by the Tour de France for their responsiveness and support."

The Giro d'Italia, which had been due to begin on May 9 in Budapest, will now be scheduled to take place after the Tour but before the Vuelta a Espana, which will move back from its planned dates in August and September.

Belfast Telegraph