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Christian Prudhomme ready for 'unique and singular' Tour de France

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Christian Prudhomme

Image credit: Getty Images

ByAlexander Netherton
25/06/2020 at 08:31 | Updated 25/06/2020 at 09:35

Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme has explained that the Tour de France safety protocols would be trialled at the Criterium du Dauphine.

Speaking to the AFP, Prudhomme said that detailed plans would be issued later in the summer as the strategies are finalised.

"The guidelines will be defined in late July, early August," Prudhomme said, of what would be a, "unique and singular" event due to the coronavirus pandemic, adding that the Criterium du Dauphine would be used as a test event for guidelines.

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Competitive cycling was suspended in the spring of 2020 as the world went into lockdown, but the Tour is now four weeks away. The director confirmed that riders would be asked not to give autographs on the stages, and there will be no traditional kissing on the podium for stage and race winners.

There will certainly be no kissing or hugging during the ceremonies. And it's certainly not the best year to get autographs.

"The public will be able to come to the Tour but there will probably be more or less strict security. In the mountains, we will favour those who go up on foot, by bike or on the transport set up by the communities. But, I repeat, the situation is changing from day to day. What will it be in two months?" Phrudhomme explained.

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"What we can say is that there will be a race with the best riders. The publicity caravan will have about 100 vehicles, about 60 per cent of previous years. The economic crisis is hitting the various sectors of the economy."

The director also believes that the weather will have a huge impact on the Tour due to the exacting conditions caused by the summer heat.

"It will be a unique Tour, since it will be the latest ever, formally in the summer but outside the holiday period. A singular Tour, there will be some real questions about the riders whose method of preparation will be necessarily different this year. The weather is likely to be less hot and there will probably be more wind. On the roadside, there will probably be fewer people, but the party will be there, with respect to health measures.

"We began to take up the challenge by obtaining the approval of all the elected officials concerned. What I have heard most often is 'The Tour will always be the Tour'. It was fascinating! In sporting terms and in the media, the Tour is the same. On the other hand, we had some patches to put in, because we couldn't take exactly the same route in September. In Lyon, for example, we have three kilometres less on the stage, the climb to Fourvière is shorter. But that's marginal!"

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