All Eyes On France In Cycling
The postponed 2020 Tour de France is set to start on 29 August. The 21-stage race will be held under meticulous health measures.
The event, delayed for two months due to the lobal coronavirus pandemic, will see the clash of 176 cyclists from 30 countries representing 22 teams. The race will begin with the 156km Nice-Nice stage on Saturday 29 August and conclude with the 122 km long 21st stage between Mantes-la-Jolie and Paris Champs-Élysées on Sunday 20th of September.
The riders, teams’ staff members and race officials have been tested for COVID-19, and isolated two days before the start of the race. Entire tour entourage will be re-tested on the two rest days, on 7 September and 14 September. Under the health measures of the event, teams will be expelled if two members test positive.
On the 107th edition of the Tour, there are no finishes on iconic ascents such as L'Alpe d'Huez and Mount Ventoux. Most remarkable mountain finishes this year will happen on the ascents of the Puy Mary summit in Massif Central on stage 13 and on the Col de la Loze pass in the Alps on stage 17.
There is no team time trial either this year. There will only be one 36km individual time trial between Lure and La Planche des Belles Filles, to be held on stage 20.
The youngest rider to participate in the 2020 Tour de France is the 21-year old Frenchman Maxime Chevalier from Team B&B-Vital Concept. The oldest starter is Movistar’s 40-year old Spaniard Alejandro Valverde who is also the most experienced with twelve former participations. Tony Martin follows Valverde with 11 participations, Imanol Erviti and Pierre Rolland both with 10 participations.
Reigning champion Egan Bernal of Team Ineos will once again appear in France to defend his title. The 1997-born Colombian had abandoned the Critérium du Dauphiné road race two weeks ago due to a back injury.