Tour begins work on ‘plan B’ to delay until late July

Spanish wire service EFE reports that Tour organizers are working to delay the race to run July 25 to August 16

The Tour de France is still officially set to begin at the end of June, but Tour organizers are already working on a “Plan B” that would start the race one month later.

The Spanish wire service EFE reported Monday that Tour owners ASO are reaching out to officials along the planned 2020 route to study the logistics of delaying the race one month. The idea would be to start in Nice on July 25 and end in Paris on August 16, and the route would remain unchanged.

VeloNews reported Friday that Tour officials discussed a possible delay of the French grand tour during a series of meetings with the UCI and other key stakeholders. With the Olympic Games delayed until 2021, the consensus was to move the Tour back one month, and then arrange other canceled spring races, as well as the Giro d’Italia, into a race calendar that could extend until the end of November.

According to EFE, Tour officials have already reached out to local and regional French officials about a possible rescheduling of the Tour. The general opinion is that it’s better to have the Tour in August than to cancel the Tour or to hold a Tour “behind closed doors,” EFE reported.

“It’s no problem at all for us to postpone it one month so that perhaps the health situation is more favorable,” said Michel Villa, mayor of Pivas, which is set to host the fifth stage. “We could maintain the planned logistics for the race.”

Tour officials indicated that they will wait until May 15 to make a decision on the fate of the 107th edition of the race. Tour director Christian Prudhomme confirmed the race is working on various scenarios to try to hold the race in some version despite the coronavirus crisis sweeping across Europe.

Racing has stopped since mid-March, and the Tour de France is the next WorldTour race still on the calendar.