The sprint on the Champs-Élysées that closes every Tour de France may be the most coveted prize in the sport for fast finishers, but not so many people will see it this year.
Reuters confirmed Thursday that crowds on the iconic street in Paris would be limited to 5,000 this Sunday due to health protocols put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in France.
“The access to the Champs-Élysées will be forbidden once the tally of 5,000 people will be reached,” authorities said in a statement reported by the news agency.
Paris is currently a “red zone,” a term designated to French regions that record 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days. The race also passed through a red zone in the Ain region last weekend, so limiting crowds on the summit finish atop Col du Grand Colombier. The race’s grand depart was also restricted to fans as Nice is in a red zone.
Reuters reports that France registered 10,593 new confirmed coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours to Thursday, a new daily record for the nation.
After many had doubted that the Tour would even see Paris, some will just be happy that there will be a Champs-Élysées sprint at all, no matter whether they watch it at the side of the road or on television.