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Thomas hopes Tour can be rescheduled

 

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Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas is hopeful the Tour de France can be rearranged for later in the summer as cycling's biggest race faces postponement or even cancellation due to the coronavirus.

The 107th edition of the Tour was set to begin in Nice on June 27 and conclude in Paris on July 19, but French president Emmanuel Macron has said there can be no mass gatherings in the country until at least mid-July.

The Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), who stage the race, have said they have no immediate plans to make any official announcements as they continue to look at contingency plans.

With viewing figures and coverage which dwarfs all other races, the Tour is seen as vital to the economics of road cycling and every effort will be made to stage it in some form.

"It's the pinnacle of cycling," said Thomas, who won the Tour in 2018 before finishing second to Ineos team-mate Egan Bernal last summer. "It represents the sport and certainly it's the thing that's keeping me going.

"You've just got that target down the line. It's hard when you don't know when it's going to be to try and stay in that positive frame of mind. In my head I'm just thinking the Tour is definitely going to happen. I don't know when but hopefully it does. It would be great for everyone."

Both Thomas and Bernal are targeting the Tour, as is four-time winner Chris Froome, who has made it the focal point of his comeback from career-threatening injuries suffered last year.

A report in Spanish newspaper La Marca suggested a revised calendar could see the Tour take place in August, the Vuelta a Espana moved back a month to September, and the Giro d'Italia - which had been due to begin in Budapest on May 9 - shifted to October.

Belfast Telegraph