A Tour de France without roadside spectators on discussion table
This year's Tour de France could still take place as planned, albeit without any spectators lining the route, Roxana Maracineanu, France's sport's minister, has claimed.
The iconic road cycling race is slated for 27 June to 19 July, and is one of the few major sporting events in the coming months yet to be cancelled because of the spread of coronavirus.
Maracineanu said while different scenarios are being discussed with ASO, the tour organiser, it is still too early to make any firm decisions on the race.
She told French radio network France Bleu that because the "economic model of the Tour de France is not based on ticketing but on TV rights," there would be no financial impact on staging the race behind closed doors.
The sports minister continued: "During this period of confinement, everyone is being very careful and aware. Everyone understands that they have to stay at home, therefore watching television rather than attending any live events. As a result, it wouldn't be too difficult to have to have to watch the Tour on television [rather than from the roadside]."
Cycling's Giro d'Italia, set for May, has already been postponed.
Earlier this month, David Lappartient, president of the UCI, cycling's governing body, said it would be "a disaster" if the Tour and Giro had to be cancelled.
The Vuelta a España, the third of the Grand Tours, is scheduled for 14 August to 6 September.