This summer's Tour de France is set to be postponed after French President Emmanuel Macron extended restrictions intended to combat the spread of Coronavirus until July.
In an address on Monday night, Macron said France would remain in lock-down until 11 May and that no large public events would be permitted before 11 July.
There had been some hope that cycling's biggest event could go ahead on the planned start date of June 27 in Nice, with the finish scheduled for July 19 in Paris.
However, the extended restrictions have quashed any plans for a business as usual approach and it is unclear whether the race will be postponed for cancelled, although officials have rejected suggestions that it could go ahead behind closed doors.
Speaking earlier this month Christian Prudhomme, race director of the Tour, said: “In the words ‘Tour de France’, the most important one is ‘France’. It’s the health situation of the country that counts.
“There’s only one thing that I want, and that’s that the Tour de France takes place this summer.
"That’s not for the Tour de France’s sake; more that if it doesn’t take place, it’ll mean that the country is in a catastrophic situation, which we really hope isn’t the case.
“Le Tour is the embodiment of France and it will not take place behind closed doors”
Last week governing body British Cycling furloughed staff and cut executive salaries, citing the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as a primary factor.
The short term future for cycling remains unclear with a new road racing calendar for 2020 due to be drawn up by the Union Cycliste Internationale in light of widespread cancellations.
Whether Le Tour will feature on that new schedule remains to be seen.
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