Hinault: There should be no hesitation if the Tour needs to be cancelled
Five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault has said that there should be no hesitation in cancelling the race if it would help with the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus has caused chaos across the sporting world with numerous events postponed or cancelled including the first of the cycling Grand Tours, the Giro d’Italia.
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It has led to speculation that the Tour de France could follow the same route and as far as Hinault is concerned there should be no hesitation if that is indeed required.
Hinault doubled down on the life over sport stance when asked about how the fans of the Tour would react to missing the race.
"A lover of the Tour wants above all to see people in good health.” He said.
" If the Tour needs to be cancelled, let's not hesitate. "
"We're up against a bloody illness, it's much more serious!
"It's a war against a virus, that also counts, frankly, we cannot afford to say: 'We must maintain the Tour at all costs'."
Hinault stressed that a decision could be left for a while yet but he believes that the start of June would be the absolute latest that a decision could be made.
“It's not up to me to decide and there is still time, but we have to ask ourselves if it is reasonable to let people line the roads if there are still risks. The Tour is tens of thousands of spectators every day.
" Early June would be the maximum."
"The Tour is a huge machine: police and hotels are needed. Frankly, you should not hesitate."
The entire spring classics section of the cycling calendar was decimated by the virus apart from Paris-Nice which rode to completion barring the final stage.