Frankfurt / Main – On Easter weekend, John Degenkolb, Nils Politt, and Co. would have had no time at all to think about the Tour de France.
But because of the coronavirus pandemic, the spring classic Paris-Roubaix, scheduled for Easter Sunday, has long been postponed indefinitely – just like all other races until June 1, and with it the Giro d’Italia, which should have started in Budapest in May. And the Tour de France, which is to take place from June 27th to July 19th, 2020? There has so far been neither relocation nor a cancellation, even if the scenario of a normal tour from week to week seems more unrealistic.
John Degenkolb, stage winner and former Paris Roubaix winner, has now given his thought to the staging of this year’s tour of France. When asked whether ghost races were realistic on the tour, the 31-year-old 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 in the next seven weeks, Degenkolb cannot imagine that the current tour schedule starting in Nice will be stable at the end of June. Of course, he also knows that the chances are slim that the Tour de France will start as planned. But I hope that a later appointment can then be found, »said« Dege ». However, Degenkolb agrees that the organizers are still hesitating to postpone or even cancel the event, “because cycling is largely dependent on the tour”.
While a postponement of a year was quickly decided at the Olympic and European Football Championships and Wimbledon was a little easier to cancel due to insurance due to pandemics, the tour is the last really big sporting event this summer, which is said to still take place. Tour boss Christian Prudhomme had already given Degenkolb’s suggestion of a ghost tour a rejection. The organizers have officially requested time until May 15 to advise on how to proceed in the Corona crisis.
The tour is existential for the teams since by far the most sponsorship money depends on the world’s largest bike race.
As a result, the German flagship stable Bora-Hansgrohe would much prefer to postpone it to later summer than to threaten to cancel it. Bora sports director Enrico Poitschke said to “radsport-news.com”: “It is important for all cycling that the tour takes place and that we can race again. We don’t care when, but the timing itself is irrelevant. »