Tour de France chief Christian Prudhomme insists the event will not take place without spectators if it goes ahead.
French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu suggested last week that the Tour could take place behind closed doors in order to contain the threat of coronavirus.
“The Tour de France is still set to take place as scheduled [June 29 – July 19],” Prudhomme told French website Sports-Auvergne.fr. “Naturally, this depends on what happens with the coronavirus pandemic.
“In ‘Tour de France’, the most important word is ‘France’. It’s the health situation of the country that counts. There’s only one thing that I wish for, and that’s that the Tour de France takes place this summer.”
“The Tour de France is passion, enthusiasm and smiles above all. We must find the smiles.”
Defending champion Egan Bernal has already called for the Tour to be postponed.
The vast majority of sporting events have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Euro 2020 and the Olympic Games both pushed back to the summer of 2021.
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Today’s front pages: Monday, April 19, 2021
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Enact regulatory framework to control access to internet pornography – Razak Opoku