Frankfurt / Main – The former Paris Roubaix winner John Degenkolb can imagine a Tour de France without cycling fans and the audience in view of the current Corona crisis.
When asked whether ghost races on the tour (June 27 to July 19) were realistic, Degenkolb replied at «t-online.de»: «Yes, of course. Even if the fans on the track are of course the salt in the soup – if the situation does not allow otherwise, this is a realistic option. At Paris-Nice, you have already seen how this can work. »
After the cancellation of all races by June 1st, Degenkolb cannot imagine that the current tour schedule starting in Nice will still be stable at the end of June. He also knew, of course, that the chances were “dwindling” that the Tour de France would start as planned. “But I hope that a later appointment can then be found,” said the 31-year-old. However, Degenkolb agrees that the organizers are still hesitating to postpone or even cancel the event, “because cycling is largely dependent on the tour”.
Sports director Enrico Poitschke from Team Bora-Hansgrohe, however, considers the timing of this year’s tour to be a minor matter and can very well imagine postponing it to a later date. «It is important for all cycling that the tour takes place and that we can race again. We don’t really care when, but the timing itself is irrelevant, »said Poitschke« radsport-news.com ».
For the professional cyclists and the racing teams, the staging of the world’s largest bicycle race is existential, a large part of the sponsorship revenue is generated during the tour of France. This is one of the reasons why, unlike other sports and associations, the organizers are currently hesitating to cancel or postpone it.
«It is important that bike races can take place. We hope so, of course! »Said Poitschke. It takes about three weeks to prepare for a race after the current break, added the 50-year-old.